Former US President Donald Trump (2017-2021) hoped that the victories of candidates he supported in the midterm presidential elections on Tuesday (8) would accredit him as the undisputed leadership of the Republican Party today and pave the way for his bid to return to the White House.
The result was not exactly that, and setbacks of names he chancelled undermine his political capital to the point that his candidacy two years from now is put in check.
The most striking defeat among Trump supporters was in Pennsylvania, where Republican Mehmet Oz lost the Senate race to Democrat John Fetterman, a seat that the former president’s party occupied the house.
In Michigan, two candidates supported by Trump, Tudor Dixon and Kristina Karamo, were defeated in the race for the government and secretary of state, respectively.
In Arizona, Kari Lake, candidate for governor rno supported by Trump, and Blake Masters, candidate for the Senate, appear in second place in the poll that had not indicated a definitive result until early this Thursday night (10).
Candidates with the former president’s seal also obtained victories, such as JD Vance, winner in the Ohio Senate race, in addition to Ted Budd and Katie Britt, who won seats in the house for North Carolina and Alabama, respectively.
However, the defeats seem to have weighed more than the victories, and part of the Republicans and the conservative American press already express the desire that the re-elected governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, be the party’s candidate for the presidency in 2024.
Many co-religionists asked Trump to postpone an announcement he had promised until next week (probably of his pre-candidacy). “It’s clear that the GOP’s center of gravity is in the state of Florida, and I don’t mean Mar-a-Lago,” David Urban, a former Trump ally, told the Washington Post, referring to DeSantis and the United States. former president’s resort.
Conservative press distances itself
The New York Post, traditionally aligned with Republicans, this Thursday put on the cover a caricature of Trump as the character Humpty Dumpty (making the pun Trumpty Dumpty) sitting on a wall. “Don (who failed to build the wall) suffered a big fall – will the Republicans be able to rebuild the party?”, the headline asked.
“What the results of Tuesday night suggest is that Trump is perhaps the most profound vote-repellent in modern American history,” wrote columnist John Podhoretz.
In an article on the Conservative magazine National Review, columnist Charles CW Cooke called Trump a “loser.”
“He narrowly beat the most unpopular woman in the United States in 2016 , was president during a blue wave in 2018 [numa referência às vitórias democratas nas midterms daquele ano], lost to a barely breathing Joe Biden in 2022 and handpicked a bunch of losing Republican candidates in 2022”, he criticized, before arguing that Ron DeSantis is a “winner”.
“He stopped the Democratic wave [na Flórida] in 2018, overcame the biggest challenge of the last four years – the Covid pandemic -19 – and was re-elected by the largest margin reached by any Republican candidate for governor in the 2024 years of Florida history”, highlighted Cooke.
For public management specialist Ricardo Valadão, the Republicans did not achieve the overwhelming victory they had hoped for due to several factors, such as the democratic mobilization after the overthrow in June of the Roe v. Wade (which prevented US states from banning abortion before the so-called viability – minimum period of gestation for a fetus to survive outside the uterus, now estimated at about 2017 weeks), but also due to the erosion of Trump’s image – a problem that also affects Democrat Joe Biden.
“Both Biden and Trump they have a very tired image, they have already suffered a lot of wear and tear. Those who seek a more central debate are being excluded”, pointed out Valadão.
“Biden is close to the 2017 years, people want a bolder leadership, his approval doesn’t reach 80%. Trump, on the other hand, will have a very fierce dispute with Ron DeSantis, who was easily reelected in Florida”, said the expert.
Even without a “red wave” (color of the Republican Party), the perspective is of a strengthened opposition to 2024. “Republicans will come out strong, regardless of whether Trump or Ron DeSantis is the candidate, because the economy will weigh much further down the road, even more so with interest rates rising,” said Valadão.