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US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) arrives for leadership elections at the Capitol in Washington, DC.
REUTERS/Leah Millis

What We’re Watching: Republican House, Israeli robo-guns, Poland’s back

GOP wins slim House majority

More than a week after the US midterm elections, the Republican Party finally clinched its 218th seat in the House on Wednesday, giving the GOP a razor-slim majority in the chamber. But with several races still not called, the exact margin remains unclear — the tighter it is, the harder it'll be for Kevin McCarthy, who’s expected to replace Nancy Pelosi as House speaker, to keep his caucus together. A Republican-held House effectively kills the Democrats’ legislative agenda, although retaining control of the Senate will keep extremist proposals away from President Joe Biden's desk and allow him to appoint federal judges. For the GOP, it's an opportunity to launch investigations on stuff like the origins of COVID, the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the Republicans' favorite target: Biden's own son, Hunter. It might even lead to impeaching the president. On foreign policy, expect the GOP to penny-pinch US aid to Ukraine and make Congress get even tougher on China — perhaps not the best idea after Biden and Xi Jinping decided to cool things down at the G-20 in Bali.

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Will Trump’s 2024 Candidacy Sink Republicans? | US Politics In :60 | GZERO Media

Will Trump’s 2024 candidacy sink Republicans?

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, DC shares his perspective on US politics:

Is the Republican Party still Trump's party to lead after the midterm elections?

The biggest news this week, other than Taylor Swift tickets going on presale, is the announcement by former President Donald Trump that he is going to run for president a third time. Trump's role with Republicans is a huge source of discord within the party right now. He remains one of, if not the most popular Republicans, but he is not delivering the electoral results the way he once did. Trump-aligned candidates had some of the worst nights in the midterm elections, in some cases trailing other Republicans from the same state by 20 points or more.

This is a huge dilemma for Republicans who can't win with him, but they also probably can't win without him, as there is a hard core of Trump-supporting voters within the GOP base who helped Trump candidates win their primaries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. If Trump does win the primary, there are a lot of people in both parties who think he is so toxic, it will give the election to the Democrats in 2024. Of course, depending on the state of the economy. But if he does not win the primary, there are serious questions as to how conciliatory he's willing to be, and if he would help the eventual Republican candidate or just take his base and go home.

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Donald Trump declares his candidacy for the 2024 presidential race.

Reuters

He’s running. Trump eyes 2024.

Welp, he’s running. Despite a growing chorus of Republicans wishing he wouldn’t, he’s running. Despite reducing the anticipated “Red Wave” to a mere trickle in the midterms last week, he’s running. Despite an upcoming Georgia Senate runoff that hangs in the balance, he’s running.

Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that, yes, he’s running for president in 2024.

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Luisa Vieira

What We’re Watching: Trump’s 2024 plans, G-20 & Basquiat in Bali, AMLO vs. Mexican democracy

Donald Trump’s “big announcement”

Tuesday is the day. We think. It’s not completely clear. Former US President Donald Trump has dropped a number of not-so-subtle hints that he will announce his candidacy for president on Tuesday. Millions of his supporters will be watching and hoping he pulls the trigger. Millions of Republicans who fear he’s become a liability for their party are hoping he’ll postpone or shock the world by not running. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other potential Trump rivals for the GOP nomination will be watching with dread for a first glimpse of the campaign Trump plans on waging against them. President Joe Biden, who will celebrate his 80th birthday later this month, will be watching to see what sort of Republican Party his reelection campaign is likely to face. The media will be watching in expectation of the opening salvo of the wildest presidential campaign in living memory. And you know we’ll be watching too.

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Voters cast their ballots in the midterm election, in Detroit, Michigan.

Reuters

US midterms: What we know and what we don’t

It was anything but a boring night in US politics. Votes are still being tallied in many states, but one thing is clear: There was no red wave.

Here’s what we know – and what we don’t – after a night spent watching breathless vote counting and downing too much coffee.

What we know:

A nightmare scenario for Trump. In Florida, incumbent Gov. Ron DeSantis won in a blowout, setting up one helluva showdown with Donald Trump, who is expected to announce his third bid for the White House next week.

Trump appears to be feeling increasingly threatened by DeSantis, a rising Republican star, and has sought to intimidate the Floridian in recent days. Crucially, DeSantis won Miami Dade, Florida's most populous county, by more than 11 points, reflecting the Republican Party's inroads with Hispanic voters.

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U.S. President Joe Biden campaigns in support of Democrats in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Reuters

US midterms: Did Democrats blow it?

Bracing for some big losses in midterm elections on Tuesday, many Democrats are expressing disbelief at their impending doom. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently told the New York Times, “I cannot believe anybody would vote for these people,” referring to Republicans on the ballot.

With Democrats fighting to retain control of Congress and with some formerly safe blue seats now up for grabs, many analysts are asking whether the Dems’ poor electoral prospects were inevitable – the curse of incumbency – or if the party shot itself in the foot with out-of-touch electioneering.

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How Trump Shook Up American Democracy — & Nearly Severed Ties With Europe | GZERO World

How Trump shook up American democracy — & nearly severed ties with Europe

Ian Bremmer discusses US politics and the upcoming midterm elections with DC power couple Susan Glasser and Peter Baker. Glasser is a Washington columnist for the New Yorker, and Baker is the chief White House correspondent for the New York Times. They recently co-authored a new book about the Trump presidency.

The conversation, which for the first time in the show's history was recorded in front of a live studio audience, looks at the key issues in the midterm election and the Trump factor. Baker and Glasser had planned to become foreign correspondents in 2020, but because of Trump's win decided to stay in DC. Even out of office, they say Trump still looms large over the GOP, and continues to influence US politics like an "active crime scene."

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Migrants walk along a dirt trail after crossing the Rio Grande river into the US from Mexico in Roma, Texas.

REUTERS/Adrees Latif

US immigration policy: The unfixable political gift that keeps on giving for the GOP

If you had to pick a problem that US politicians keep failing to solve election after election, it might be immigration. Democrats and Republicans love to complain about how broken the system is — and yet always find a way to blame each other when there's an opportunity to fix it.

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