Donald Trump: Midterms point to rising challenges for former president

  • In Business
  • 2022-11-09 16:09:10Z
  • By BBC
Treated image of Trump
Treated image of Trump  

Standing before a crowd of adoring supporters in Ohio earlier this week, former President Donald Trump made a promise: a "big announcement" on 15 November, exactly a week after a predicted "red wave" of Republican victories in the midterm elections, which many observers saw as a litmus test of his influence over the party.

The wave, however, turned out to be more of a wavelet. Mr Trump's announcement - likely a long hinted at 2024 presidential run - will come after an election in which many of his endorsed candidates underperformed, throwing into question the continued viability of the "Make America Great Again" brand of US conservatism.

Perhaps more concerning for the former president was the resounding success of Florida governor - and potential 2024 rival - Ron DeSantis, who celebrated a "win for the ages" in his re-election bid as his tensions with Mr Trump spilled out into the open.

Let's take a look at how the midterms have gone so far for Mr Trump, and what they might mean for his political future.

All eyes on Ron DeSantis

While Republican candidates across the country met unexpectedly tight races, Mr DeSantis, 44, swept to a nearly 20-point landslide victory over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, including a clear majority among Latino voters. Four year's ago, by comparison, he won by less than half a percentage point.

The win will further fuel speculation of a potential presidential run in 2024. At his victory party in Tampa on Tuesday night, his supporters chanted "two more years!" - starkly highlighting the appeal of a man some journalists and Republican observers have dubbed "Trump with substance" or "Trump 2.0".

  • DeSantis: The Florida governor with White House buzz

  • Who is winning, and what does it mean for Trump?

Among those who now see Mr DeSantis as a stronger White House contender than Mr Trump was Mike Cernovich, a right-wing commentator who was once described by Politico as an "indefatigable Trump cheerleader".

"Trump has zero shot at 2024 in general. After tonight, this isn't up for debate," Mr Cernovich tweeted on Tuesday night. "DeSantis in 2024 or accept total defeat".

The prospect of facing Mr DeSantis in two years isn't lost on Mr Trump, who warned that he "could hurt himself very badly" and that he would reveal "things about him that won't be very flattering".

Patrick Ruffini, a Republican pollster and strategist, described Mr Trump as a "wounded animal" to the BBC, when compared to Mr DeSantis' very good election night.

Trump's mixed bag of endorsements

Ahead of the midterms, Mr Trump endorsed dozens of candidates for Congress, as well as others running in gubernatorial and state legislature races.

While the election's final results are still unclear - and may be for some time - it is increasingly clear that Mr Trump's results were, at best, mixed.

Of the high-profile Senate candidates he endorsed, for example, only one - Ohio Republican JD Vance - won a clear victory, edging out Democratic Representative Tim Ryan. Other Trump endorsed candidates, including Pennsylvania Senate hopeful Dr Mehmet Oz and Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Nixon, lost, while the results of a number of other races are still to be decided.

How Trump
How Trump's picks did in midterms  

Ahead of the election, John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Washington DC-based Brookings Institution, said that losses by his endorsed candidates could "raise questions about his political acumen" among potential supporters or undecided voters.

Mr Trump has so far shrugged off any suggestion that he can be held responsible for a candidates' losses. On his Truth Social social media platform, the ex-president lauded a "great evening" for his candidates and boasted that 174 of his candidates won, compared to only 9 losses.

On election night, he also said that he should "get all the credit" for wins and "not be blamed at all" for losses.

Still, some have already begun faulting Mr Trump for the results.

A silver lining?

Mr Trump may still have some reasons to be pleased about Tuesday's results.

Chief among them is the fact that a Republican-controlled House of Representatives - the most likely result - could dismantle the committee investigating the 6 January 2021 riot, which has long sought to connect Mr Trump to the riot. The committee recently issued a legal summons ordering Mr Trump to testify before it on or before 14 November, the day before his "big announcement".

"That'll probably be dismantled," said Grant Reeher, a political science professor at Syracuse University, referring to the select committee. "He'll claim that vindicates him."

Additionally, the election has already seen dozens of 2020 election deniers elected to Congressional or state-wide seats, meaning that Mr Trump can count on a significant block of political allies that believe that he was the rightful winner of the previous presidential election.

Rioters on 6 January
Rioters on 6 January  

Polls also show that Mr Trump remains popular with vast swathes of the Republican voter base, a fact that any potential challenger - whether Mr DeSantis or another high-profile Republican - will have to contend with if they hope to replace him as the party's favoured candidate for the White House.

"Somebody who seeks to replace Trump atop the Republican Party cannot pretend Trump is not there. Trump is a huge personality, who makes every contest a battle of personalities," wrote David Frum, an editor at The Atlantic who served in former President's George W Bush administration.

"Refusing to engage is not an option, because he will engage whether his target likes it or not. There's no choice except to engage back."


More Related News

U.S. imposes security zone in search for Chinese balloon remnants
U.S. imposes security zone in search for Chinese balloon remnants
  • US
  • 2023-02-06 20:50:45Z

The U.S. Coast Guard on Monday imposed a temporary security zone in waters off South Carolina during the military's search and recovery of debris from a...

Disney's strategy to win its battle with DeSantis is to just wait until he runs for president, says a top Florida Democrat

The Republican governor called the legislature back to Tallahassee on Monday for a special session, in part to settle the Disney dispute.

National Enquirer sold to group that includes indicted ex-MoviePass chairman
National Enquirer sold to group that includes indicted ex-MoviePass chairman

The National Enquirer, the tabloid at the center of many controversies involving former President Donald Trump, will be sold to a joint venture involving...

Florida to begin session on Disney district, migrant flights
Florida to begin session on Disney district, migrant flights
  • US
  • 2023-02-06 12:21:01Z

Florida lawmakers will meet Monday to complete a state takeover of Walt Disney World's self-governing district and expand a migrant relocation program, key...

U.S. officials offer to update top congressional leaders on recovered files
U.S. officials offer to update top congressional leaders on recovered files

Biden administration officials are offering top congressional leaders a briefing on classified documents found in the possession of President Joe Biden...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


  • cheapsmmpanel
    (2022-11-09 16:39:06Z)

    Great post, I want to thank you for this informative read; I really appreciate sharing this great post. Keep up the good work!

  • 토토사이트
    (2022-11-18 03:50:57Z)

    E-sports playground is a major playground that leads the trend of Toto site. The recent LOL game has become a hot topic for many sports Toto users as it has gained huge popularity. Therefore, most safety playgrounds in Korea release real-time e-sports Toto.

  • 안전 토토사이트 리스트
    (2022-11-23 05:42:15Z)

    The best sports team in the country, specializing in Powerball and Toto site reviews, updates the latest Toto game information every day to compile the best list of game safety tips. Use this list to get the best sports betting experience.


Top News: Business