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Midterm elections | Donald Trump comes out weakened



(Washington) The midterm elections were to open a avenue for him to launch his 2024 presidential bid. Instead, election night was disappointing for Donald Trump, who sees his main Republican rival galvanized by the results of the ballot.

The former host of the White House, who was personally involved throughout the campaign, dreamed of a landslide victory for his foals, before his “very big announcement” promised next week – in all likelihood foreshadowing a presidential candidacy.

But the heralded “red wave” has not swept across the country, although Republicans are well positioned to wrest a majority in the House of Representatives – by a short head. The control of the Senate remains very uncertain.

“If in some ways yesterday’s election was somewhat disappointing, from my personal point of view, it was a great victory,” Donald Trump said on Wednesday on Truth social.

Nevertheless, the most brilliant victory of the night on the conservative side remains that of Ron DeSantis, triumphantly re-elected governor of Florida. However, it is the strongest opponent of Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination for the presidential election of 2024.

His landslide victory over Democrat Charlie Crist cements his rising star status. Already, a column published by Fox News on Wednesday morning crowned Mr. DeSantis as the new “leader of the Republican Party”.

Asked about the Trump-DeSantis rivalry on Wednesday, President Joe Biden said it “would be fun to see them go head-to-head.”


Before the election, the leader of the Republican minority in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, had worried about the “quality” of the candidates pushed to the front of the stage by Donald Trump.

The superstar surgeon Mehmet Oz, dubbed by the ex-president, notably failed to win the key and hotly contested seat of senator in Pennsylvania. In the same state, ultraconservative and anti-abortion candidate Doug Mastriano, who was present during the storming of the Capitol, was defeated for the governorship.

The former tenant of the White House could thus have lost his aura of “kingmaker”, despite the notable exception, in Ohio, of the victory of the Trumpist converted JD Vance to the post of senator.

The midterm elections being generally favorable to the opposition, “it should not have been so difficult for the Republicans”, commented for AFP Jon Rogowski, professor of political science at the University of Chicago. All the more so in a context of high inflation, combined with Joe Biden’s anemic popularity rating.

“Many of the candidates” supported by Donald Trump “have underperformed and cost their party the chance to take a seat that could have been easily won,” said Jon Rogowski. “At the same time, other Republican candidates with whom he has publicly quarreled easily won their seats. »

An example: Brian Kemp, openly opposed to Donald Trump, retained his post as governor in Georgia. The former president has consistently castigated Mr Kemp’s role in certifying the 2020 ballot, and had tried to unseat him by backing another candidate in the primaries.

The results show that “you can be conservative, principled, oppose Trump and win,” said George Washington University professor Peter Loge.

“It’s really a tipping point for the Republican Party,” said Geoff Duncan, Republican vice-governor of Georgia, who has long been openly critical of the former president, on CNN on Wednesday. ” It is time to move on. »

Presidential path

Wednesday morning, the ex-president was “livid” and “screaming at everyone”, according to one of his advisers quoted anonymously by Jim Acosta, star journalist of CNN.

Donald Trump denied it to Fox News. And reaffirmed to maintain his speech scheduled for November 15 from his residence in Florida: “Why change anything? he replied when asked if he had changed his mind.

On that day, if the Republicans actually win the majority in the House, Donald Trump will not hesitate to “take credit for it”, predicted Jon Rogowski.

According to the expert, with a presidential candidacy announced two years before the deadline, the former tenant of the White House would above all seek to pull the rug out from under the feet of his rivals: “If he felt that he was in a better position, he wouldn’t need to declare himself so soon. »

This same November 15, another rival of Donald Trump, his former vice-president Mike Pence, will publish his memoirs, the good pages of which have conveniently appeared in the wall street journal Wednesday. Mr. Pence recounts the pressures he suffered to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

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