Politics 07-11-2018

The US chooses a divided Congress and Trump sings victory

The United States chose a divided Congress on Tuesday: the Democratic opposition regained the House of Representatives, but the ruling Republican party kept the Senate in a referendum on President Donald Trump, who claimed a personal victory.

In a polarized mid-term elections, the party of former President Barack Obama fulfilled his goal of dominating the lower house, something he had not done since 2010, but could not realize the "blue wave" anti-Trump to be the Senate in Republican hands .

"Tremendous success," tweeted the president, who followed the results in the White House, where he spent the day in seclusion with friends and family.

The president called on Senate leader Mitch McConnell to congratulate him on "historic achievements" after Republicans raised their seats in the upper house to 100 from 52, said spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.

But for Trump, losing control of Congress, which he enjoyed after his surprise triumph two years ago, is a setback in the midst of successful economic results, and complicates his prospects for the rest of his term.

Now the Democrats can not only block the president's initiatives but also investigate their finances and deepen the alleged collusion between his campaign team and Russia in 2016, increasing the possibility that a process of impeachment will begin against him, although with few possibilities of success.

"Today it's more about Democrats and Republicans, it's about restoring the powers and constitutional counter-powers in the Trump administration," said Nancy Pelosi, the current leader of the Democratic minority in the House of Representatives, who will probably preside again.

"A Democratic Congress will work on solutions that will unite us, because we've all had enough divisions," he added, however.

- Beto's disappointment -

In one of the most watched duels, the charismatic Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who had the support of celebrities such as Beyoncé and LeBron James and managed to raise $ 60 million for his campaign, could not snatch the Texas bank Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

"I am very proud of Beto for everything he has achieved, getting so close in a state like Texas," one of his followers, Keneth Melouda, commented in El Paso.

Republican Mike Braun also defeated Joe Donnelly in Indiana, one of five Democratic senators who ran for re-election in states where Trump won by a considerable margin in 2016.

In Florida, the Democrat Andrew Gillum, who aspired to be the first black governor of that state, awarded the victory to his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis, a spoiled Trump.

In Georgia, another African-American Democrat, Stacey Abrams, also seemed headed for a loss to Republican Brian Kemp.

- Alexandria's smile –

But the Democrats recorded important triumphs.

Star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of Puerto Rican origin and born in the Bronx just 29 years ago, made history by becoming the youngest woman to be elected to Congress.

Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland also stood out as the first Native American women in the House of Representatives.

In Florida, Donna Shalala was left with the seat of the legendary Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first Cuban-American elected to Congress and who retires; and in Virginia, Jennifer Wexton ousted outgoing Barbara Comstock.

In the Senate, Bob Menéndez was re-elected in New Jersey, to the relief of the Democrats, who feared that the accusations of corruption against him would cost him his seat.

- The return of Mitt -

Mitt Romney, Trump's fierce detractor in Republican ranks, came to the Senate for Utah and many are wondering whether he will take the place of John McCain, who died in August, as one of the critical voices of the president.

Another habitual opponent of Trump, Bernie Sanders, important figure of the left in the United States, was reelected without surprises like senator by Vermont.

The election brought other news.

Greg Pence, the older brother of Vice President Mike Pence, won a Republican seat in the House of Representatives.

Ayanna Pressley will be the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress, while Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib will be the first Muslim women.

- Lets vote! –

Throughout the country, voters formed ranks early, eager to express themselves after a tense campaign, mourning even acts of violence: the sending of bomb packages to Trump's opponents and the massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, which left 11 dead.

Trump, who inflamed the campaign with his anti-immigrant and nationalist rhetoric, seems to have boosted the flow to the polls.

Rory Mabin, 34, decided to vote in Chicago to generate a counterweight in Congress. "I do not approve of how this president is leading our country," he said.

In Orange County, California, biology student Nicky Davidson, 20, thought otherwise. "Trump is not a traditional president, but I do not think it should be a reason not to support him, he does things differently, which is something we need."

In elections where there is usually high abstention, 38.4 million Americans voted early where this modality was allowed, 40% more than in 2014, according to Michael McDonald, of the US Elections Project.

The 435 seats in the House of Representatives, one third of the Senate and 36 governorships were in contention along with numerous local and state offices.

AFP

 
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