US News Elections of November 3: beyond the Trump-Biden duel, the major issue of the Senate

20:10  14 october  2020
20:10  14 october  2020 Source:   france24.com

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 In full recovery, Donald Trump plans to organize a meeting in Florida © NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP Donald Trump, on his return to the White House after his hospitalization, on October 5, 2020. A few days after leaving the hospital where he was being treated for his coronavirus infection, Donald Trump said Thursday that he was planning to participate in a campaign rally on Saturday in Florida, a key state for the November 3 presidential election.

Les démocrates espèrent ravir le Sénat aux républicains le 3 novembre 2020. © Win McNamee, AFP Democrats hope to steal the Senate from Republicans on November 3, 2020.

Behind the race for the White House , the battle for control of the Senate is the other major issue in the US elections on November 3. Inconceivable a few months ago, the Republican majority is now seriously threatened.

As the United States sank into the health and economic crisis, the inconceivable gradually became conceivable, then probable. Because in addition to the presidential election , on November 3, Americans will be called to the polls for the renewal of Congress, including a third of the Senate. Three weeks before the ballot, the Democrats, in the majority in the House of Representatives, appear able to regain control of the upper house. A situation still unexpected at the start of the year.

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With 53 seats out of 100, Republicans have a majority in the Senate, and this since the mid-term elections of 2014, when Barack Obama was still president.

However, the stakes are high: a fully Democratic Congress would allow Joe Biden to calmly apply his program, while a Congress divided between Democrats and Republicans would considerably reduce his room for maneuver.

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"The Senate should not be an issue. It is a big machine that is struggling to evolve. And as there is has great stability in this chamber, everyone expected the Republicans to keep the majority quite easily ", explains Jean-Éric Branaa, researcher specializing in the United States at the University of Paris-2 Panthéon-Assas, contacted by France 24.

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Earlier this year, Republicans thought they were surfing the fiasco of the impeachment procedure against Donald Trump to convince centrist voters to vote for them, but since then, the new coronavirus has come to reshuffle the cards. Presidential mismanagement of the health crisis could cost Republicans not only the White House, but the Senate as well.

The senior electorate turns its back on Republicans

"The wind has risen behind Joe Biden's back, and with him, an entire anti-Trump movement is gaining momentum, underlines Jean-Éric Branaa Even seniors , who voted 53% for Donald Trump in 2016, do not understand why he has been so light with this disease. The latest polls now show a differential of more than 20 points in favor of Joe Biden in that part of the electorate. " A reversal which should have consequences for the senatorial elections.

Democratic candidates, who took over the House of Representatives in the midterm elections two years ago, are also campaigning as a reminder that many Republican senators have taken a stand against extending insurance disease for the poorest (Medicaid). However, the Covid-19 pandemic put millions of Americans out of work, who found themselves without health coverage overnight.

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In addition to the unpopularity of Donald Trump and the issues related to the health and economic situation, the renewal of the Senate by third every two years also plays against the Republicans this year. They are thus 23 Republican senators in the race for their re-election against only 12 Democratic senators.

However, several elected Republican had won narrowly in 2014. This was the case in particular of the senators of Colorado, Cory Gardner, and of North Carolina, Thom Tillis - the latter having been elected with only 46,000 votes of ahead of his Democratic opponent.

Lindsey Graham threatened in her stronghold in South Carolina

"Clearly, the Democrats should win in these two states, Judge Jean-Éric Branaa. They also have good chances in Maine and Arizona, where outgoing Martha McSally, was not even elected. She had been appointed by the governor after the death of John McCain. "

These four seats would allow the Democrats to tip the Senate on their side, but the latter see further. Iowa, Montana, Georgia are also in their sights. And even South Carolina, where one of the Republican Party figures, Lindsey Graham, could find herself in trouble.

The latter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is accused by his Democratic opponent, Jaime Harrison, of having agreed to initiate the nomination process for the Supreme Court of Amy Coney Barrett before the presidential election on November 3. However, Lindsey Graham said in 2016 and 2018 that he would refuse any appointment to the Supreme Court in Donald Trump's last year in office.

"Even if he should keep his post, his situation shows how closely the fate of some Republican senators is linked to that of the president, underlines Jean-Éric Branaa. So much so that candidates are trying to break away from him. Martha. McSally and Thom Tillis, in particular, have asked Donald Trump not to come to their state anymore. "

In Arizona, Donald Trump's disappointments could cost him his reelection .
© Robyn Beck Convinced republican, Josh Heaton, in front of his house in Phoenix, October 16, 2020, in Arizona Josh Heaton assures him: he almost regretted "immediately" to have voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Like him, many Arizona voters, yet convinced Republicans, are now preparing to give their voice to his rival Joe Biden, at the risk of overturning the State in the democratic camp.

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