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Why the US midterm results haven’t harmed Trump’s re-election chances

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08.11.2018

US President Donald Trump is the best political campaigner since Ronald Reagan. Perhaps better. Unlike Reagan, he is not a politician – he is a man on a mission; to turn America into Trumptown. He targets his own supporters at the expense of the middle ground, but with aggressive energy. And now, in the midterm elections, which are usually difficult for the president’s party, the Republicans have held their own.

Trump would declare victory even if he had been thumped, but this performance is close to a win. He lost the House of Representatives but strengthened his support in the Senate. A loss of faith would have weakened his credibility and crushed his 2020 re-election chances. You do wonder how long his luck will hold. Voters have merely given him a mild rebuke and extended his mandate to “Twitterstorm” without losing too much political capital.

A bluer Congress will make things increasingly difficult for governing, but not too much for this president. His relationship with Congress has always been fragile. He is, after all, not really even a Republican. He won their trust by narrowly delivering a tax bill through Congress that cut rates for millions of middle-class Americans, and more so their companies.

That pumped perhaps US$2 trillion into an already healthy economy; creating 500,000 blue-collar jobs, pushing unemployment to its lowest since the 1960s, and narrowing the gap in........

© South China Morning Post