The bottleneck of all United States politics has a name of its own. Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky senator and leader of the Republican majority in the Senate, has been the real arbiter of power in Washington for six years. It made Barack Obama’s last two years a living hell. And Donald Trump, in fact, was only able to approve what McConnell left, a tax cut. On November 3, this immense power, of which perhaps the United States was not aware until it saw its consequences in the Supreme Court, submits to the polls. And you are in serious danger.
In addition to the president, in the US elections the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate are renewed. A total of 35 of the 100 senators are elected. In American political jargon, it is said that the party with the most seats at stake is on the defensive. In that election, 23 of those seats are Republican, including McConnell’s own. Taking into account the research and the political environment of each state, at least 12 are in danger. Democrats need only take four to regain a majority. Only a Democratic senator is in serious danger of losing his seat, Doug Jones of Alabama.
“I am disaster protection,” warned Mitch McConnell in an interview last month, in a tone that is becoming increasingly dramatic. The campaign speech of Republican senators has long been no longer to defend Trump, but to defend themselves. Joe Biden’s victory starts to be taken for granted. The “disaster” that McConnell talks about is a Senate in the hands of Democrats that collaborates with the president and, among other things, undo Trump’s tax reform, appoint Democratic “activist” judges in the federal justice system (McConnell’s obsession deprived Obama of dozens of nominations and gave them to Trump, including one in the Supreme Court).
That majority may even change the law to increase the number of members of the Supreme and disable the artificial majority created by McConnell. This possibility, which Biden did not rule out, but which would set a very serious precedent (one more), is the new battle cry of the Republican campaign to ask for the vote.
In 2018, the vote against Trump propelled Democratic candidates to the biggest victory in legislative elections since the Republican fall after the Watergate scandal in 1974. Republicans lost 40 seats in the House of Representatives, some in places considered as solid as Orange County. , California. Polls indicate that enthusiasm remains alive, even intensified by the presidential election, turned into a referendum on Trump’s years. In these elections, there is no possibility that Democrats will lose the majority that allowed the party, among other things, to start the investigation that led to impeachment and compel the Senate to negotiate any economic measure.
This is the occasion to see the effect of this trend, that is, the effect of Trump, in the Senate. Two years ago, the seats of the weak Republicans were not at stake, and conservatives managed to maintain their majority, with dramatic consequences for the balance of power in Washington. This is being seen with jet confirmation from Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who will consolidate a conservative majority in the Supreme Court. The blocking of Obama’s seat was one of the factors in the mobilization of the conservative vote that led Trump to the White House. Once there, thanks to McConnell (he publicly attributed himself to success), he was able to nominate three Supreme Court magistrates, including the one corresponding to Obama, and almost 200 federal judges, 25% of all federal judges in the country.
This situation appears to have made Democrats aware that power in Washington is not just in the Oval Office. Republican seats most at risk are receiving interest from across the country. The revenue numbers of some Democratic candidates are typical of presidential primaries. In South Carolina, for example, candidate Jaime Harrison has so far raised $ 57 million ($ 319 million) this week, an absolute record in a Senate candidate. He faces Republican Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Senate Justice Committee and one of the most detested characters by Democrats across the country. Graham takes one to six points in the polls. It is the most disputed reelection of his career.
Two chairs that are practically lost are those of Colorado and Arizona. Colorado is a state divided by excellence, that is, it tends to share power between Republicans and Democrats. On that occasion, Senator Cory Gardner fully embraced Trumpism. The polls give former Governor John Hickenlooper a considerable advantage.
Democrats have high hopes in Arizona, where polls indicate a mobilization of Latin and urban voting since 2016 (Trump won by just four points) and a palpable dissatisfaction by local Republicans with Trump. The combination could give Joe Biden the state of Arizona, where a Democratic presidential candidate has not won since 1996. In the Senate, Democrats launched former astronaut Mark Kelly, the husband of former congressman Gabby Giffords, who suffered an attack. Until that week, Kelly had raised 38 million dollars (212 million reais).
Among the less clear-cut contests, up to six Republican senators are tied in polls with Democratic competitors, according to the average poll done by Real Clear Politics. These are from Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Montana, North Carolina and the aforementioned Graham, in South Carolina. The most fragile seat is that of Maine, occupied by Susan Collins, a moderate Republican who, whenever there is a controversial vote, the whole country hopes that it will raise its voice against Trump. It didn’t. The latest polls give her Democratic rival Sara Gideon a four to seven point lead.
If Trump’s shipwreck is confirmed, it will drag with it many of what Americans see as his accomplices in Washington. The “disaster” mentioned by McConnell is near.