Andreas Kaju: Donald Trump was the biggest loser in the US midterms

Andreas Kaju
Andreas Kaju Source: ERR

Former President Donald Trump, who saw Republican candidates he backed often losing even in scenarios where the Republican Party's rating was higher than that of the Democrats, could be considered the biggest loser in the United States midterms Tuesday, political commentator Andreas Kaju says.

Appearing on ERR webcast "Otse uudistemajast" Wednesday, Kaju said: "The assessment of the vast majority of Republican analysts was that Trump was the biggest loser in this election."

Several Trump-backed candidates who managed to defeat their rivals in the Republican Party's own internal elections and who might have been more suitable candidates for mainstream voters, also lost in the election. 

"This time, Trump's favor went to candidates who were not so attractive to the entire electorate to take out all the favor that the Republicans had," Kaju said.

However, being backed by Trump was not necessarily the kiss of death in every case, but rather their poor quality overall, Kaju noted.

This weaker-than-expected midterms result from the Republicans comes at a time when more and more people are starting from the position of supporting the one party in all elections held simultaneously, as with the mid-terms, where elections for members of congress, the state governor and the senate run concurrently.

Formerly, people often voted for one political party in one election, versus another, or an independent candidate, in another poll, whereas nowadays the proportion of those who follow this practice has declined significantly.

Midterms failed to provide clarity on next presidential elections

As to what impact the midterms could have on the next presidential election in 2024, Kaju stated that it would be easier to forecast if the results of the midterms had been very clear one way or the other. "However, today's result, where despite the obvious weakness of the president and his administration, the Republicans were unable to realize their potential, leaves this question open," he said.

He added that if the Democrats had lost more ground, it might have given Trump a chance to run for president again.  At the same time, a major loss would have crystallized an understanding in the Democratic Party that the current president, Joe Biden, must be removed and a new candidate would need to be found to run at the next election. However, the result of the midterms remained unclear, which does not give either party a clear indication of how either should proceed.

Commenting on the election campaign as a whole, Kaju noted that although the most pressing issue for most Americans was the worsening state of the economy, the Democrats did not focus their advertising campaign on dealing with that question, but instead used up to 85 percent to 90 percent of their TV advertising money (about US$500 million), on the issue of abortion instead, which for Americans is currently the third most important question following the overturning of Roe v. Wade earlier this year.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots

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