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Democrats did not suffer the expected defeat and Trump is left vulnerable

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David Brooks and Jim Cason

Correspondent and Special for La Jornada

Newspaper La Jornada
Friday, November 11, 2022, p. 30

New York and Chapel Hill. In the curious midterm election in the United States, the contest is now between losers, that is, the party and the winning leader lose the least.

Democrats and their leader, President Joe Biden, celebrate because they did not suffer the losses that were predicted, although their Republican opponents are still projected to take control of the House by a very narrow margin. For now, neither of the two parties has reached the 218 seats required to be a majority. And the Democrats win by not losing by that much.

The Republicans and their leader so far, former President Donald Trump, may win the House, but the GOP wave they hoped for has fizzled out. That immediately left Trump more vulnerable to his Republican 2024 challengers and weakened, for now, his hold on his party.

And control of the Senate remains to be determined, a process that could take up to another month, which is a Democratic win not to lose it, for now. The balance will be defined at the end of the counts of three contests, one in Nevada, another in Arizona and, as happened two years ago, in Georgia, where it is expected that a second round will have to take place, scheduled for December 6.

But perhaps those who have the most to lose after this election are the migrants and the relationship with Mexico and Latin America. The issue of migration will continue to be at the center of the political-electoral strategy of two Republican winners, the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, and his counterpart in Texas, Greg Abbott. They, along with Trump and his accomplices, have used anti-immigrant rhetoric, border control and demonization of Mexico and progressive leaders in America with great success for their electoral purposes.

At the same time, if Republicans control the House, it is almost certain that any attempt at immigration reform or other measures to protect, for example, undocumented youth will not prosper.

Some analysts concluded that the biggest loser of this election was Trump, as several of the most prominent candidates he promoted were defeated. Furthermore, without the Republican wave, Trump cannot present himself as the political champion of his party. And during the last 48 hours after the election, the beginning of the fight between him and his possible challengers, especially DeSantis, was already seen. The new york posta right-wing tabloid owned by conservative media mogul – including the mighty Fox News – Rupert Murdoch, put his head on its front page the day after the Florida gubernatorial election, playing on his name, DeFuture (El futuro), which provoked the anger of the former president, who referred to the medium that he previously praised as much as trash.

Despite the internal conflict between Republicans and a Democratic Party headed by a president whose base prefers that he not seek reelection, it is difficult to determine who and what won in these elections.

The largest Latino presence in Congress

With the projections so far, experts affirm that there will be the largest number of Latinos in the federal Congress in the history of the country. Currently, the lower house has 40 Latino legislators, but that number will increase to at least 42, Axios reports.

However, more Latinos does not necessarily imply a progressive turn. In fact, the new Congress will include a freshman, Anna Paulina Luna, in Florida, who is loyal to Trump and who will join other conservative Latinos, while Governor DeSantis won his re-election in part thanks to broad support from the Latino electorate, including areas a Republican hadn’t won in a generation.

Moreover, in South Texas there has been much talk of a sharp conservative shift among Latino voters of Mexican heritage in favor of Republicans. But Democrats won two of the three seats contested in that border area. The republican wave did not happenlamented Mayra Flores, a loyal Trump candidate who won a special election a few months ago, only to lose it on Tuesday.

It is worth repeating that the Latino electorate is not a homogeneous or monolithic force. For example, a Telemundo/LX News poll found that more than 50 percent of Latinos in Florida support DeSantis’ controversial decision to fly Venezuelan immigrants seeking asylum in Florida to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, to move the problem to a liberal Democrat stronghold. And a Florida International University poll found that 57 percent of Cuban-Americans support maintaining the blockade on Cuba, an increase of 12 points since 2008.

But perhaps one possible positive consequence of this is that if the Democrats can’t win in Florida, they might stop attracting the vote of Cuban-Americans and others on the issue of Cuba policy. Florida midterm results this week could conceivably free the Biden administration to do what Barack Obama did in proceeding towards the normalization of the bilateral relationship or at least promote a policy towards Cuba different from that of Trump and the Republicans, argued Fulton Armstrong, of the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies of the American University and former US National Intelligence Officer for Latin America.

Robert Reich, a prominent Democratic commentator and former Secretary of Labor, stressed that the basic conflict between the two parties in this election was the battle between pro-democratic forces and the neofascists. He stated that what characterizes a neo-fascist party is his cruel wickedness and his unwillingness to respect the election results. In other words, Trumpism. that stream Authoritarian rule feeds on anger and fear, and breeds hatred and paranoia that cause Americans to lose confidence in the electoral system and their fellow citizens, and can breed violence. He concluded that the choice It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but still very worrying. We’re still over the precipice.

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