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    Ex-EU Consultant: Trump to Target House Dems in 2020 Re-election Strategy

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump will use the Democrats' victory in Tuesday's congressional elections to counterattack them in his bid to win a second term in the White House, former European Union and US Agency for International Development consultant Paolo von Schirach told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    "We can also expect that he will use the Democratic takeover of the House as a demonstration that he needs to be elected to a second term come 2020 because his agenda has been delayed by uncooperative Democrats," said Schirach, president of the Global Policy Institute think tank.

    With several seats still to be declared, the Democrats are projected to enjoy a majority in the US House of Representatives, but the Republicans will increase their majority in the Senate.

    The results fell into the usual expected pattern of US domestic politics where the party holding the White House suffers setbacks two years later in the midterm congressional races, Schirach pointed out.

    "It is true that the party that controls the White House usually loses seats in the Congress after mid-term elections. If this is the case, the Democratic Party takeover of the House after the November 6 mid-term elections should not be surprising," he said.

    However, the Republican setbacks in the House races were still unusual since the US economy had been performing so well under Trump, Schirach observed.

    "There is something truly baffling about this outcome. Presidents are judged by voters by their handling of the economy. By any measure, the American economy is doing great. The GDP growth rate is back to 3 percent or above," he said.

    Economic indicators continued to be strongly positive, Schirach noted.

    "This is how it used to be in the golden days of US world dominance. The unemployment rate is well below 4 percent. Consumer confidence is very high. The stock market, a few hiccups notwithstanding, is still remarkably strong," he said.

    With all those impressive economic policy achievements under his belt, Trump and the Republican Party should be extremely popular with the voters, and his favorable ratings should be above 50 percent," Schirach suggested.

    "But it is not so. While the president has a very strong core group of supporters among Republicans, his favorable ratings rarely go above 40 percent. This is not terrible, but positively uninspiring, especially if we take the stellar economic performance of the country into account," he said.

    The Republicans did a lot better in the Senate. especially in rural states. And this had resulted in a split decision, balancing power in Congress between the two chambers, Schirach explained.

    "So, split decision. The American urban and suburban voters helped the Democrats in the House, even though not by a huge margin. Whereas rural and mid-western voters helped the GOP gain a few seats in the Senate, this way broadening its slim majority," he said.

    The outcome of the election proved that America remains deeply divided, Schirach cautioned.

    "The deep ideological animosities — reinforced rather than caused by Mr. Trump — are not going away. From a practical standpoint, come January 2019, governing will be much more complicated, since no law will pass without the concurrence of the new Democratic-controlled House," he said.

    It remained to be seen whether the Democrats will behave like a fair-minded loyal opposition or whether they will be obstructionists, Schirach concluded.

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    Tags:
    re-election, strategy, 2018 midterm elections, Paolo von Schirach, Donald Trump, United States
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