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Trump, the Shifting GOP, & Polarized US Politics | Interview with NPR's Tamara Keith | GZERO Media

Trump, the shifting GOP, & polarized US politics

Remember when midterms were boring? Definitely not this year: the red wave-turned-ripple was only enough for Republicans to narrowly win the House, while the Democrats kept the Senate. But 'why' it happened is a harder question to answer.

On GZERO World, NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith speaks to Ian Bremmer about all things midterms and what 2024 has in store for both parties.

For Keith, Democrats turned out more voters worried about democracy and abortion.

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Back to Divided Government: Biden's Silver Lining From a Republican House | GZERO World

Back to divided government: Biden's silver lining from a Republican House

The GOP was gearing up for a red wave in the US midterms. But in the end, it was just a ripple, and while the Republicans narrowly won the House Democrats kept the Senate.

Why? Democrats turned out more voters worried about democracy and abortion, NPR's White House correspondent Tamara Keith tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Divided government with such tight margins, she says, now means two things. First, nothing much is going to get done in Congress for two years.

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Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto leads a rally ahead of the midterm elections in Henderson, Nevada.

Reuters

What We’re Watching: Dems’ Senate victory, Iran's first protester death sentence, Ethiopia's peace deal

Dems take the Senate

The long wait has ended with Democrats retaining control of the US Senate. The victory was sealed after Catherine Cortez Masto, the Nevada incumbent locked in a tight race against her Donald Trump-backed rival, squeezed through with a narrow win. Meanwhile, a Democrat also won Nevada’s race for secretary of state – another midterm defeat for pro-Trump election deniers. With the Senate now at 50-49 for Dems (who have the advantage of VP Harris’ tie-breaking vote), the White House is now turning its attention to Georgia. A Senate runoff in the Peach State on Dec. 6 could see the Dems clinch 51 seats, giving them majorities in Senate committees and more wiggle room on key bills. Meanwhile, the House remains too close to call, but the GOP is slightly favored to win, needing just 7 seats to reach a majority, compared to the Dems’ 14. Still, many of the 21 House seats that haven’t been called yet are toss-ups, and the Dems have secured victories in unexpected races over the past few days. Buckle up for a nail-biter.

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Former U.S. President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Reuters

Bracing for 2024: Trump vs. DeSantis

As dust from US midterm elections begins to settle, the focus is shifting to tension brewing within the GOP. Former President Donald Trump looks poised to announce his 2024 presidential bid, and many expect Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to throw his hat in the ring. Trump is publicly discouraging DeSantis from running – threatening him even. With the race for 2024 set to begin, we asked Eurasia Group’s lead US political analyst Jon Lieber for his insights on the DeSantis-Trump feud and the likely 2024 presidential tickets.

Do you believe both Trump and DeSantis will run for 2024? When will they throw their hats in the ring?

Yes. Trump has hinted he's going to go for it next week at a big rally, but I think the Georgia runoff complicates that. He has the opportunity to take credit for a win, but he also faces the downside risk of taking the blame for a loss. I think that it's a pretty risky move for him to continue to go ahead with this plan. He could end up delaying, but I'd be shocked if we got to Christmas Eve and he hadn't figured out some way to get all the attention on him by announcing.

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Georgia Senate candidates: U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R)

Reuters

What We’re Watching: US midterm cliffhanger, Russia’s Kherson retreat, ASEAN summit kickoff

Control of Congress hangs in the balance

“It was a good day for democracy and I think a good day for America,” President Joe Biden said Wednesday night about the midterm election results. The US House and Senate both remain in play after Republicans failed to deliver on their promise of giving Democrats a shellacking. While the GOP is still favored to take control of the lower chamber, incoming House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is likely to preside over a slim and dysfunctional GOP majority – hardly the wave he had anticipated. The GOP is still 11 seats short of clinching a majority in the House, and several competitive districts are still being counted. Control of the Senate, meanwhile, rests on three states – Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia – that remain too close to call. The race in the Peach State between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker will go to a run-off on Dec. 6 after neither reaped 50% of the vote. What’s more, measures to enshrine abortion rights were overwhelmingly backed by voters in states including Michigan, California, and Vermont. Even deep-red Kentucky refused to back an amendment denying the constitutional right to abortion, proving that curtailing abortion access is a losing issue for the GOP.

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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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GZERO Media

The last push for Pennsylvania

Welcome back to our new daily feature, Midterm Matters, where we pick a red-hot US midterms story and separate the signal (what you need to know) from the noise (what everyone is yelling about).

In the final stretch of the midterm race, Democrats and Republicans are pushing hard in Pennsylvania. On the blue side, President Joe Biden and his old boss Barack Obama will hold an event in Philadelphia on Saturday in a bid to get out the vote amid fears that turnout could lag, particularly among communities of color.

Meanwhile, on team red, former President Donald Trump will also make a stop in southwest Pennsylvania over the weekend to campaign for Senate candidate Mehmet Oz, as well as state Senator Doug Mastriano, who’s trailing Democrat Josh Shapiro in the race for governor.

Why Pennsylvania? Well, it’s one of just a few states – along with Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona – that will determine which party controls the Senate. Democrat John Fetterman currently leads Oz by a smidge, but Fetterman, whose health woes have become a central electoral issue, was leading his opponent by six percentage points just a month ago. Indeed, Democrats are rightfully concerned about their prospects in the state.

It’s also one of the very few opportunities Dems have this cycle to flip a Senate seat as opposed to playing defense.

In recent weeks, Obama, who remains extremely popular in the Democratic Party, has made stops in other crucial swing states like Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. We’ll know in just a few days whether it’ll make a difference …

Paige Fusco

Is US support for Ukraine waning?

Republicans and Democrats disagree on pretty much everything these days, yet they’ve shown remarkable unity to date on one issue: Ukraine.

But as midterm elections loom, the winds are changing in Washington, D.C., where an increasing number of legislators on both sides of the aisle – particularly Republicans – have warned that the days of unchecked handouts to Ukraine could soon be over.

That’s bad news for Ukraine, of course, but it’s also bad news for President Joe Biden, who has staked his dwindling reputation on being able to unite a Western alliance – including a politically divided US – against an aggressive Russia.

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