US Presidential Elections are undoubtedly one of the most closely followed elections in the world. Rightly so, for they determine the ideology of the contemporary neo-colonist power, whose actions have a strong global influence. What is due in a few days time, however, is another set of elections in the USA, that may not involve the apparently omnipotent Presidency, but is almost equally significant. The elections to all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 35 seats in the 100-member Senate, and to the Governorships of 36 States- the US Midterm Elections 2018. The reason why these elections are called ‘mid-term’ is that these are held right in the middle of the President’s four year tenure. As President Donald Trump came to power on 20th January, 2017, it will be two years when the newly elected Congress convenes in January 2019, and this is exactly what makes it a potential game-changer in US Politics.
Most people are unaware of, and therefore fail to realise the importance of a few provisions with regards to the Mid-term elections. It is beneficial, in this context, to keep in mind the systemic framework that guides politics in the United States. Even though the US Political System is a Single Executive System with the President as its most important power and its face, the balance of power ultimately inclines towards the Assembly. The extreme rigidity of division of responsibilities makes the President dependent on the members of the Assembly for the successful passage of any legislation it wants to make. Again, the President maybe considerably strong, but his actions maybe bound unless he/she is granted the appropriations/funds by the Assembly. When it comes to removal, the Assembly has the power to impeach the President in case he acts unconstitutionally. On the other hand, the Executive cannot intervene in the proceedings of the House, let alone dissolve it. Furthermore, in case of a serious conflict between the President and the Assembly, the Judiciary is mandated to bow down before the will of the Assembly. This can be attributed to two reasons, the Assembly more intrinsically represents the people, and because it has the right to amend the Constitution. These points make it clear why the Midterm elections have the ability to affect the Presidency.
By the end of November 6, Mr. Donald Trump will either be further boosted or be less powerful in Washington. Within America’s bi-party system, this is yet another showdown between the Republicans and the Democrats, with a lot on stake for the controversial Donald Trump. Political scientists across the world are analysing these elections as a referendum for the Trump administration. A number of respective analyses have been made on the basis of the outcomes that the elections may have. If Trump’s Republican Party comes to power in the House, the Senate, or in both, it will be an affirmative sign for the President to carry forward his staunch policies and will mean an emboldened ‘America First’ policy at the global stage. Once the civil society shows it’s approval, a reassured Trump will probably become harsher in his dealings with China, and also with his allies in the UN, EU and NATO. On the other hand, if the Democrats regain power, Trump will lose his ground to a great extent. The hurdles posited by the Democrats will keep him more engaged in domestic affairs, and this opportunity might be well-tapped by his foes and allies in the international scenario. The results will decide whether the Trump administration gets a push or whether it will have to work in an environment of friction and compromise.
Pre-poll surveys tell that presently, the top concerns for American voters are economy, health care and immigration. If these issues dominate the voters’ minds, President Trump seems to have a stronghold with his immigration policies, and his most recent desire to build a wall on the Southern border of USA. What is note-worthy about these elections is that a record number of women are contesting this year. Besides, there are also three African-American candidates running for Governorship. According to opinion polls, a legislative mix, with the Democrats winning the House and the Republicans winning the Senate is the most likely result. As speculations are on, Americans will show their preferences soon.
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