Published 7th November 2022

Trump’s return and other Midterm races to watch with popcorn

These Midterm elections are the entree to the next US Presidential election, but the main meal won't be served for two years.

The Australian | November 7, 2022

These Midterm elections are the entree to the next US Presidential election, but the main meal won’t be served for two years.

It’s election season in US. The midterms kick off this week that will see which party will have power for the next couple of years as Joe Biden’s first term as President comes to a close in 2024.

Why are they important?

While the folk in the US aren’t voting on a President, they are voting on which party they put in power.

This is a congressional election, not a presidential election. So Joe Biden is not contesting, but his blue Democrats are, and so too are the red Republicans.

Midterm elections happen in the middle of a US President’s four-year term.

Donald Trump’s former deputy chief of staff Emma Doyle said just two issues will be front and centre.

“This election has crystallised around two key issues – inflation and crime,” Doyle told The Oz.

 “Fuel prices, a useful barometer for the cost of living, have been consistently hitting all-time highs in the US, with Californians currently forking out the equivalent of more than $2 per litre.”

Doyle, who is now works with our former US Ambassador Joe Hockey, said despite Biden taking action to try and force down the stubbornly high prices, it remains to be seen whether it will be judged as enough by the electorate or “merely a political ploy”.

“Republicans have seized on crime as a wedge issue, using selective crime statistics to skewer Democrats after some had called to ‘defund the police.’ Political ads have shown violent attacks on citizens in Democrat-held cities and states, driving home the issues that blue states are soft on crime, with the message appearing to gain traction with swing voters.

“The Democrats are relying on the momentum – and fundraising – generated by widespread outrage at the Supreme Court decision overturning the Roe v. Wade abortion decision in June. In swing states like Pennsylvania, public pressure following the decision has been effective at forcing moderate Republicans to perform linguistic gymnastics about the future of abortion in America,” the Bondi Partners managing director added.

“Midterms always take on greater significance than just the redistribution of control of Congress and governorships across the country – without Trump on the ballot, these elections will be a referendum on President Biden and the Democratic Party.”

Speaking of Trump…

It’s looking more likely that following these elections – regardless of the outcome – Donald Trump will announce he’s planning on running again to become President.

He has been popping up on the campaign for his favoured Republican candidates around the country and been teasing for months that he’ll run for a third time.

“I will very, very, very probably do it again, OK? Very, very, very probably. Get ready. That’s all I’m telling you. Very soon,” Trump told a rally for supporters in Iowa last week.

That is despite having a few things on his plate. The state of New York is pursuing him for corporate fraud, a Georgia grand jury is investigating whether he personally interfered with the 2020 election by asking officials to “find votes”, and the US Department of Justice continues to look into whether he “wrongly” took home top secret and classified documents from the White House.

However, at the weekend he made more pointed remarks that he would like the chance to “Make America Great Again”… again.

The now Florida-based former President publicly ridiculed the local there – Governor Ron DeSantis – during a rally in Pennsylvania, calling him “Ron DeSanctimonious.”

It was one of the most direct shots yet Trump took at the Governor – publicly. More pointedly, should Trump decide to roll the dice again with another run for the White House, DeSantis is tipped to be his rival if both men run for the Republican nomination for president in 2024.

DeSantis – who is campaigning for his current job right now – has built a national reputation over the past few years for his handling of Covid in Florida and constant fights with President Biden.

“Donald Trump is set to announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election on November 14, six days after US midterm elections in which Joe Biden’s Democrats are expected to lose control of congress to a group of Republicans largely hand-picked by the former President,” The Australian’s Washington correspondent Adam Creighton predicted.

However not everyone in the GOP and its wider circle of supporters is thrilled with his return.

In Pennsylvania, where Republican candidate Dr Mehmet ‘Dr Oz’ Oz is running for the must win senate spot for the conservatives, Trump spoke for 90-minutes, Oz got less than six minutes to address the party faithful and drum up support for his campaign.

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