2018 mid-term elections were referendum on Trumpism: Entessar

TEHRAN, Nov. 12 (MNA) – Nader Entessar, Professor Emeritus of Political Science from University of South Alabama says that “in many ways, the 2018 mid-term elections were a referendum on Trumpism.”

He adds, “I do not think American foreign policy towards Iran will be impacted by the Democratic victory in the 2018 mid-term elections.”

Following is the full text of the interview:

Some argued that the congressional election was a referendum for President Trump. What is your opinion?

Although President Trump was not on the ballot, he campaigned for many Republican candidates who for both the House and Senate seats.  Also, several of the Republican candidates invoked Trump’s name and campaigned on supporting Trump’s agenda.  So, we can say that in many ways the 2018 mid-term elections were a referendum on Trumpism.

Republicans can save their chairs in the Senate and Democrats won the House after 7 years. Why Democrats won the House?

Elections for the House of Representatives are based on electoral districts in each state. So, unlike the Senate candidates who must gain state-wide support in order to win, the House candidates need only appeal to their own district constituency and not the entire state. In 2010, the Republicans managed to redistrict, or gerrymander, many districts to make it more difficult for a Democrat to win.  For a number of years, the Republican strategy succeeded to achieve its goal. However, over time with changing demographics and diversification of population base in many major American cities, the Democrats were able to overcome the Republican gerrymandering in many large cities and win seats in the 2018 mid-term elections.  Also, a large number of women, especially women of color, who became House candidates this year, allowed the Democrats to capture the House. There are many divides in American society, and one of the most important ones is the urban-rural divide.  The Democrats were able to win the major urban centers.

Now Democrats are the majority in the House. Can this issue impact on President Trump’s foreign policy especially on Iran?

Yes, the Democrats can make it more difficult for President Trump to have a smooth ride.  For example, they can challenge Trump’s support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen as there are many opponents of US policy among the Democrats. Although there are some House members who oppose Trump’s Iran policy, especially Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, I do not think American foreign policy towards Iran will be impacted by the Democratic victory in the 2018 mid-term elections.  The Senate, which is really more important than the House when it comes to foreign policy, is still controlled by anti-Iran hawks who will work with their House ideological kindred souls to keep Washington’s current Iran policy pretty much intact.  Unfortunately, anti-Iranianism runs deep among hawks in both the Republican and Democratic parties.

According to the result of the recent congressional election, do you think President Trump can win the next presidential election?

The results of the 2018 mid-term congressional elections demonstrated that the US society is as divided and as polarized as when Trump came to power. The forces loyal to Trump and the ideology of Trumpism are still united in opposition to their adversaries, and support for Trump among this group, or his base, remains rather strong. Absent a major catastrophe, I believe, Trump has a good chance of getting re-elected in the next presidential election with the current level of support he has among certain sectors of the American electorate.

Interview by: Fateme Mohammadipour​


News Code 139545


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