The US elections are not only a matter of the country’s president. Equally important is the outcome of elections to the House of Representatives and the Senate. If the Democrats preliminarily won the presidential elections, then the outcome of the remaining races is not so happy for them. They failed to win a majority in the Senate and lost 10 seats in the House of Representatives. However, the Democratic leaders will not be removed – Nancy Pelosi must keep the post of the third person in America.
The Democratic Party was preparing for the elections with high hopes. According to polls, not only did Biden smash Trump with some obscene advantage, but the Democrats also had to ride the Blue Wave and take all power in Washington. This would free their hands for any reform, including the neutralization of the Supreme Court – the last bastion of the Republicans.
In order to gain all power in the country, the Democrats had to take at least 3 Senate seats from the Republican Party, and not lose 15 seats in Congress. The task seemed easy.
According to analysts, there were at least 4 races in the Senate, where the incumbent Republican senator had to lose, in 2 more races the chances were equal. Among the vulnerable Democrats was only Alabama Senator Doug Jones. In reality, the Democratic Party managed to win only two races out of 6, in addition, Jones, as expected, lost his place. Thus, at the moment in the Senate, there are 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats.
The fate of the Senate will be decided by the second round in the state of Georgia, it is one of the few states where, by law, more than 50% of the vote is required to win. There are two races at once, and theoretically, if the Democrats win in both, they will catch up with the Republicans. Then the majority will be created by the vice-president, if there are no surprises, the post will be taken by the Democrat Kamala Harris. However, Georgia is a predominantly Republican state and such an outcome is unlikely.
With regard to Congress, the picture is already clear. There, the Democrats were defeated, even if it did not become catastrophic. Instead of gaining a dozen more seats and bringing the advantage to a solid 50 seats, the Democrats lost 10 seats. They will retain control of the House of Representatives, but the ratio is likely to be 222-213 in favor of the Liberals. Thus, any 6 congressmen from the Democratic Party will be able to block the initiative. This significantly reduces room for maneuver.
The Democrats expected a crushing victory, but received a “draw with a taste of defeat.” Usually, after this, the leader in the party changes, but this time nothing like that happened. On Wednesday, November 18, the Democratic congressmen agreed to nominate Nancy Pelosi for another term as speaker. She was first elected speaker in 2007.
For some analysts, this news came as a surprise, because for a long time there were rumors that Pelosi did not have enough votes to be re-elected as speaker. Her candidacy clearly did not suit the progressive wing of the party, which is gaining strength from election to election. Two years ago, 15 Democrats voted against Nancy Pelosi as a speaker, but she still had enough votes.
This time the left-wing radicals turned out to be much more accommodating. They did not begin to stand in tough opposition to Nancy Pelosi and did not even begin to publicly demand radical action from her. Nevertheless, there were backstage agreements, and Pelosi herself hinted about this.
Answering questions, the speaker said that at a meeting of their party, the introduction of an age limit for leaders was discussed. “The decision to limit the age of party leaders and chairmen of committees was discussed. Congressmen said they were going to do it, but they didn’t. But I said that regardless of whether a decision is made or not, I will adhere to these limits. I don’t want to undermine any leverage I may have, but I made a statement, ”Pelosi announced.
In fact, this means Pelosi is going to his final term as leader of the Democrats in Congress. She is now 80 years old, and it is likely that she will finally retire from politics in 2022. And that could be a serious problem for Democrats.
The fact is that for nearly two decades at the head of the Democratic Party, Pelosi has gained enormous prestige, which keeps progressives from rebelling even in difficult moments. Pelosi is not alone in leading the party, but her two closest associates, Steny Hoyer and Jim Cliburn are 78 and 77 years old, respectively. Most likely, it will move away from the leadership of the party along with Pelosi.
And then the Democrats will have a huge power vacuum. And it can add to the defeat and loss of a majority in Congress: historically, the president’s party performs poorly in the midterm elections. In this case, the Democrats may face a split even more serious than the one that was after the defeat in 2016.
The views and opinions expressed in this opinion article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Eastern Herald.