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Midterm elections in the USA – “The US Democrats are playing a dangerous game” – News

With a view to the midterm elections in the fall, primary elections are currently being held in the USA. There are examples of the Democratic Party providing financial support to Republican Party candidates. The goal is to increase your chances of winning later if the opponent is too extreme to be chosen. Political scientist Christiane Lemke does not believe in this plan.


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Christiane Lemke is a political scientist at Leibnitz University in Hanover.

SRF News: The US Democrats supported Republican candidates whom they believe have an easy time against them. Is that a good plan?

Christiane Lemke: I don’t think it’s a good plan, on the contrary. The Democrats are playing a dangerous game. Because you run the risk of being faced with a situation in November in which the mood against the Democrats has tilted. So Republican candidates could have a chance, even the extreme ones.

If dissatisfaction with the government worsens, Republican candidates have a very good chance.

You think the shot might backfire for the Democrats?

Yes. There are still three months until the election. The mood in the USA is currently very bad. The Democrats have just been able to get a legislative package through the Senate, and it will also be passed in the House of Representatives. But the cost of living has risen sharply. The dissatisfaction of the population with the government is very high. If this gets worse, Republican candidates have a very good chance.

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It could be difficult for the Democrats in the US in the fall. Depends on how the mood changes.

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It is not yet known which political issues will actually be on the agenda. Depending on how other candidates benefit from it?

Exactly, the US midterm elections are about domestic politics. Foreign policy doesn’t matter. Something unforeseen can always happen. But as a rule, the domestic political situation is questioned in these midterm elections to Congress. Specifically: What is my job situation, my income situation? There are also a number of controversial issues, such as women’s rights, the rights of minorities, and migration. At the moment it is not possible to say exactly what the order of these topics will be.

Ex-President Donald Trump is heavily involved. What influence does it have on the current political climate?

From a European perspective, it is amazing how great Trump’s influence still is. He makes campaign speeches in these primaries and supports candidates. He travels across the country and people cheer him on. Trump has a hard core of supporters. In two years he wants to run again as president. The ideology of Trumpism has spread widely.

Even if Trump doesn’t run for president himself in two years, there are others who espouse this ideology.

There are many politicians in the Republican Party who support Trump’s nationalist thesis that America needs to be made strong again. She finds many followers. Even if Trump doesn’t run for president himself in two years, there are others who espouse this ideology. Strictly speaking, Trump represents the interests of white America. But at the same time the USA has become very heterogeneous, very multicultural. There is also explosives in Trumpism.

What else could give the Democrats in the US a boost with a view to the midterm elections in the fall?

One can only hope that the Democrats will stay the course and focus on social issues. A culture war is raging over hot topics such as multiculturalism or abortion. Ultimately, the decisive factor is the social and economic situation of the voters.

The conversation was conducted by Susanne Stöckl.

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