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Midterm elections | Uncertain and tense election night

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(Washington) America entered an uncertain election night on Tuesday, as decisive midterm elections for the political future of Joe Biden and Donald Trump settled down.

As polling stations closed one after another, and while we waited to see where the American Congress swung, attention turned to the gubernatorial elections. And in particular on Florida, where outgoing Governor Ron DeSantis was triumphantly re-elected.

Rising star of the conservative camp, possible contender for the White House in 2024, he congratulated himself in an offensive speech on having made this southern state, long considered leaning sometimes to the left, sometimes to the right, a “land promised” for the Republicans, where “the ‘woke’ ideology comes to die”. And where outgoing Republican Senator Marco Rubio was also re-elected.

Sensation DeSantis

“I’m just starting the fight,” the 44-year-old governor promised.

What tickle former President Donald Trump, who wants to use these midterm elections as a springboard for the next presidential election.

He has already promised to make a “very big announcement” on November 15… in his residence in Florida.


RICARDO ARDUENGO, REUTERS

Former US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania walk outside a polling place during the midterm elections in Palm Beach, Florida.

The billionaire also wanted to be present, making a short, relatively disjointed television statement on Tuesday to congratulate himself on the success of some of his many candidates in the various elections.

In the meantime, the former president can already congratulate himself on the success of certain candidates won over to his cause, such as the virulent elected to the House of Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene.

His former spokesperson at the White House, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was elected governor of the very Republican state of Arkansas.

But the Democratic camp was not left empty-handed. He snatched from the conservatives two governorships from the Republicans: in Maryland and Massachusetts, where Maura Healey will be the first lesbian to head a state. Joe Biden called her immediately to congratulate her.

And in Florida, it was a Democrat, Maxwell Frost, 25, who became the first member of “Generation Z” to enter Congress, winning a seat in the House of Representatives.

Paralysis

What will be decisive for the rest of Biden’s mandate is to see where this chamber will lean – according to opinion polls, the Republican opposition could be a large majority there.

A classic scenario in American politics, where the “midterms” often turn into a sanction for the party in the White House.

There remains the Senate: the pollsters are more mixed as to the fate of the powerful upper house, with nevertheless an advantage for the Republicans. It will all depend on a few key states, like Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, Lasaine Latimore, a 77-year-old African-American attending election night in a “Soul food” restaurant in Pittsburgh, said she hoped for a victory for the Democrats “because they are more on the side of the people”.

“I just want health insurance and more money for my dental care and my glasses,” she added, echoing the campaign of Joe Biden who tried to present himself as the president of the middle class, attentive to the needs of the most modest.

The argument has little bearing, in the face of the aggressive campaign of the Republicans, who accuse him of having inflated inflation, now at a record level, and let crime get out of hand.


PHOTO LEAH MILLIS, REUTERS

Handicapped by soaring inflation, the 79-year-old president risks losing control of Congress during these midterm elections traditionally unfavorable to the ruling party.

Whether the 79-year-old Democrat loses one or both chambers will more or less come down institutionally. He will be paralyzed, facing Republicans who promise to use all the parliamentary levers at their disposal: investigations in shambles including on his son Hunter Biden, and budgetary blockage.

But if Joe Biden also loses the Senate, and suffers a more bitter defeat than expected in the House, this will further jeopardize a possible candidacy on his part in 2024, he who is already unpopular with Americans, and who is not very enthusiastic about his own field.



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