These midterm elections show that the fractures in the US Congress are here to stay

The ideological gap between Republicans and Democrats is widening, while each party must also try to keep its various factions together, writes Chris Stevenson

Wednesday 09 November 2022 19:03 GMT
The ideological divide between the two parties is only likely to get deeper
The ideological divide between the two parties is only likely to get deeper (Getty/iStock)

Democracy is literally on the ballot. This is a defining moment for the nation. And we all must speak with one voice, regardless of our party,” Joe Biden said at the weekend as he sought to galvanise voters ahead of the midterm elections. Marking the first nationwide vote since Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election that put Biden in the White House, and the violence that followed on 6 January 2021 – how is that plea working out?

Certainly, Trump did not do as well as he would have wanted. He likely anticipated being able to cement his place as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, with a slate of candidates he had endorsed taking seats in the Senate or the House of Representatives as well as a number of state-level positions. Many of those candidates have taken a leaf out of Trump’s political playbook, either outright denying the results of the 2020 election, or at least questioning its legitimacy.

Given the perceived power of an endorsement by Trump ahead of the midterms, a significant proportion of the Republicans up for election across the country, and across all levels, could be placed in this category. However, the actual results were a decidedly mixed bag. While JD Vance did score a Senate seat in Ohio by a wider margin than many predicted, Mehmet Oz lost to John Fetterman in Pennsylvania in what could prove a crucial flip for the Democrats.

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