On a night when the Republican Party expected more—and is far from over; who controls the Senate and the House of Representatives is yet to be decided—, his supporters were left with one consolation above the rest: the landslide victory in Florida, and especially in Miami-Dade County, the most populous in the Sunshine State Those votes boosted the candidacies of Marco Rubio, as senator, and, above all, of Ron DeSantis, who four years ago won the governor’s seat by a narrow margin of 42,000 votes and this time he has won it, spurred on by the support of independent voters, by a difference of 1.5 million and 57% of the Latino vote.
It is symptomatic that the best news for a party that woke up on Wednesday immersed in a new era did not come from the person who has kidnapped it for years, Donald Trump, but from a rising star like DeSantis, who does not hide his intention to aspire to the presidency of the United States. In the only debate of the campaign against his opponent, Charlie Crist, he refused to guarantee that he would finish his term as governor if he listened to the White House siren song.
The former president, for his part, planned to ride a “red wave” (such is the political color of the conservatives in the United States) towards the 2024 presidential elections. In his usual megalomania he imagined it as a tsunami, but he remained in much less, thanks to the Democratic Party resisting his push. And that they had a leader like Joe Biden, weakened in the polls and beset by inflation, immigration management and voter concerns about security.
Biden also does not hide his desire to renew in the White House in the appointment in two years, whose pre-campaign will be inaugurated when the last ballot of these mid-term elections is certified, in which the renewal of the 435 seats of the House of Representatives —in which the needle leans to the conservative side, although with less force than expected— and a third of the Senate. At this point, it seems likely that to find out who will control the upper house, we will have to wait until December 6, the runoff in Georgia between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker.
Biden win in Pennsylvania
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In the absence of the definitive results, in which a last-minute turnaround cannot be ruled out, the first analyzes suggest that Biden has endured the type better than expected, taking into account that one of the great triumphs of his has come in Pennsylvania, the State where he was born, traditionally decisive in the presidential elections.
It is almost the only territory in which he has campaigned, a campaign in which many Democratic candidates have shunned him like a pest, worried that his bad shadow would frustrate their chances of victory. There he inaugurated the legislative elections in September with a speech in Philadelphia in which he announced that he would wage a “battle for the soul of the nation.” It is also the place where he has most directly clashed with Trump, who has chained one rally in Pennsylvania with the next, and has miserably failed in his bets on the two main candidates: Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz (who has lost in the battle for the Senate against John Fetterman, perhaps the most celebrated fight by his opponents).
One of Biden’s main arguments for insisting on running again in 2024, despite serious doubts among his own about his suitability (based on his unpopular profile, yes, but, above all, on the fact that he will be close to 82 years old ), is precisely that: only he has shown himself capable of defeating Trump in an election (although Hillary Clinton defeated him in the popular vote, and in 2018 the Democrats won in Congress by 41 seats in the last legislative elections). Sources from his Administration have slipped that if this confrontation were not repeated, the president, who identifies the tycoon with a danger to democracy, could step aside.
Trump is scheduled to announce next Tuesday at Mar-A-Lago, the mansion where he called a party to see the results on Tuesday that ended up watered down, his candidacy in 2024. He wanted to do it last Monday, but they convinced him otherwise , to prevent the news from spurring the Democratic vote. Unable to despair, the former president sent an email Wednesday to his supporters asking for money and promising that his speech next week “will be perhaps the most important speech delivered in the history of the United States.” It should not be forgotten that the former president has several open legal cases that could hinder his presidential plans. Nor, that if the Republicans recover, as it seems, the House of Representatives, they have been willing to throw hair into the sea and bury those investigations, although that would set dangerous precedents.
DeSantis, for his part, spent the post-election day signing executive orders aimed at mitigating the effects of a tropical storm in Florida and enhancing his image as a leader who can be very tough when he wears the uniform of a “freedom warrior” on issues such as education or LGTBI rights, but which also adorns the virtue of sobriety. A kind of Trump 2.0 that broke a record, yes, historical, of collection in a campaign for governor as soon as in September, according to the sentinel organization of the relationship between money and politics in the United States, OpenSecrets. DeSantis ended up with $200 million in the piggy bank, which he hasn’t fully spent. On the prospect of seeing the two facing each other, a relaxed Biden said this Wednesday in a speech at the White House that “it will be fun to watch.”
That profile of the infallible winner of DeSantis has not accompanied Trump in recent times. “He has led his party from defeat to defeat,” conservative analyst David Frum wrote in the heat of the electoral hangover in The Atlantic. Frum believes that the Republicans would do well to turn the page on their “superpower.” In that he also agrees, for that of not stopping “following the money”, the megadonor Ken Griffin, founder of the investment firm Citadel, which has given 60 million dollars to Republicans this cycle. He said in an interview with Political that he was ready to bet on DeSantis. “For a litany of reasons, I think it’s time to move on to the next generation,” he added.
If the alternative in the Republican Party seems clearer after the legislative elections (other possible candidates, such as the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, suddenly sound distant), things are not so easy on the Democratic side. Its most high-profile members have avoided commenting on their intentions to run in 2024, though that hasn’t stopped the speculation, one of the national sports in Washington. There have been candidates, yes, who have openly expressed that they do not see it advisable for Biden to run again, for reasons that have to do above all with his age. The idea, which spread in the Democratic Party before the summer, that it was convenient to think about writing it off, generated enormous discomfort in the White House, which called for a closing of ranks.
A logical candidate to succeed the president should he finally think better of it, or be unable to face the onerous process of a presidential campaign as he nears his 82nd birthday, would be Vice President Kamala Harris. But the enthusiasm that brought her to the job soon turned to skepticism about her suitability for the job. That suspicion has created a vacuum for other hopefuls to fill.
What applicants? Analysts differ on the names, but agree on the position currently held by many of those who sound. This would be the case of Governors Gavin Newsom, in California; JB Pritzker, in Illinois, and Gretchen Whitmer, in Michigan. All three share one other thing: They won hands down on Tuesday. Whitmer has the added attraction that he did it against a determined Trumpist, Tudor Dixon. With his victory he supported the idea that if it is too soon to rule that the legislative elections have been a referendum on the figure of Trump (it is not convenient to underestimate his ability to refute those who have considered him liquidated over and over again), it is clear that Americans have spoken out on Trumpism. And what they had to say hasn’t been very flattering
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