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After months of campaigning, countless sleepless night and literally billions of dollars spent, the US midterm elections are finally here, providing Americans with their first opportunity to pass a verdict on Donald Trump.
As it stands, the Democrats look set to win back the House of Representatives, the lower legislative chamber, even if their chances of taking the Senate, the upper chamber, are much slimmer. Without the Senate they won’t be able to block any further judicial nominations that Trump puts forward, but control of the House would give them the ability to block key pieces of Trump legislation, such as Obamacare repeal or further billionaires tax cuts.
Much of the Democrat’s hopes have been pinned on a ‘blue wave’ that is sweeping through some parts of the country, with a younger, more diverse generation of candidates putting themselves forward for election. Record numbers of women are standing and candidates like Andrew Gillum in Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia are set to potentially make history as the first African-American governors of their states.
A lot of this new generation of Democrats are also running on platforms of healthcare-for-all and abolishing ICE that, in American politics at least, are considered to be quite radical, though not in comparison to our own politics where fantastic institutions like the NHS are part of the landscape.
All of that said, the Democrats are also heavily reliant on more centrist candidates when it comes to winning in states that are traditionally Republican. Moderate Conor Lamb wrote the playbook on how to win as a Democrat in a red state when he beat the Republicans to take Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District in a special election earlier this year. After his victory there are a number of candidates running in the same mould, trying to turn red seats blue by offering compromise, consensus politics as opposed to running to the left of the electorate.
If, like me, you’ll be skipping sleep tomorrow night to watch the results roll in, then take some time to think about what Labour can learn from the Democrat’s coalition-building approach to this election. If they are successful at the ballot box tomorrow, it could be because, instead of spending their time focusing on what divides them, they would have united to present a vision of how communities can come together to build a better country.
As Brexit gives us our own constitutional crisis and as the Conservatives pull further to the right in order to keep themselves in power, perhaps it’s time for us in the Labour party to take a leaf out of the Democrat’s book, put aside the search for ideological purity and find our own vision that is built on that which we have in common.
-Joe Cox, digital assistant
US Midterms: Progress breakfast debrief
Progress are delighted to host an exclusive breakfast debrief with former Democratic National Committee chief executive Amy Dacey.
Amy will be giving our members a full debrief on the midterm elections that are taking place this week and will also be sharing her insights and experiences during her time at the DNC and the executive director of Emily’s list.
This event is for 100 club and Thousand club members only, you can join either the 100 or the 1000 club today by clicking below.
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