2017 state election results a warning shot for Trump

Democrats declared the start of their comeback with the goal of reclaiming control of the two chambers of Congress—the Senate and the House of Representatives—from Republicans.

world Updated: Nov 09, 2017 15:16 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
2017 state elections,Donald Trump presidency,Trump anniversary
Activists protesting the one year anniversary of the election of US President Donald Trump march through downtown Los Angeles, California on Wednesday.(AFP)

It was typical of President Donald Trump to tweet about his November 2016 victory on Wednesday, the day after his party suffered a resounding defeat in the just-concluded elections that did not augur well for the congressional polls next year, as it has been seen as a repudiation of his politics and policies.

“Congratulations to all of the ”DEPLORABLES” and the millions of people who gave us a MASSIVE (304-227) Electoral College landslide victory!,” he posted, seemingly from Air Force One on his way to China with a picture of himself with aides, possibly to celebrate his stunning November 8, 2016, victory.

But back at home in the US, buoyed by the November 7, 2017 victory, Democrats declared the start of their comeback with the goal of reclaiming control of the two chambers of Congress—the Senate and the House of Representatives—from Republicans.

“The door is certainly open for us,” said Nancy Pelosi, top Democrat in the House, going over the election results with reporters and the implications for the 2018 congressional races.

Pelosi said she was reminded of victories in similar elections in 2005 that led to Democrats taking the two chambers in 2006.

Democrats posted victories in an entire range of elections held on Tuesday to governorships in Virginia and New Jersey, legislatures, municipal and judicial bodies, using an unprecedented demographic and cultural mix of candidates that were so representative of the new America.

And, at the same time, they are so radically different from Trump’s coalition of angry, dispossessed and insecure white voters in parts of the country devastated by globalisation and those that live in imminent fear of it. He has promised them retributory succour from their present misery.

But the president has offered them no real plans, no rescue or rehabilitation or re-employment programme, other than the headline-grabbing withdrawal of the US from trade pacts such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which might have helped them. But they will never know.

News reports about the election results were in agreement about the chief reason behind the Republican disaster — it was a manifestation of simmering resentment against Trump, his personality, his politics and his policies among college-educated Americans, a lot of whom are life-long Republicans.

“Voters are taking their anger out at the president, and the only way they can do that is by going after Republicans on the ballot,” Charlie Dent, a Republican member of the House of Representative, told The New York Times. He has already announced he is retiring, and that could explain his candour.

First Published: Nov 09, 2017 15:15 IST