US midterm elections


Sir, – Considering the midterms were widely seen as a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency, the main lesson from them is that 2016 was no anomaly. The US political landscape has undergone a fundamental shift in recent years and it appears Trumpism is more durable than many Democrats had hoped.

When given the opportunity, the American electorate failed to repudiate the president and his agenda in any meaningful way and hopes of a so-called “blue wave” never materialised.

Reclaiming the House of Representatives, with a slew of new candidates from diverse backgrounds, will undoubtedly boost the Democrats, allowing them to obstruct some of Trump’s plans and potentially force him to reveal his personal tax returns – a win for American democracy. But sitting presidents often lose ground in midterm elections and the result suggests that Donald Trump is well-placed to secure a second term in 2020, or at the very least be competitive in the contest.

Democrats have spent the last two years trying to portray themselves as the voice of what they see as true American values: diversity, inclusion, progress, etc. Their failure to make any substantial gains – remember they lost seats in the Senate – in the first major electoral contest since 2016 shows that their message is struggling to resonate with voters they will need to win over in 2020.

That should be a worry for them and for anyone who wants to see the White House go blue in two years. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Best of luck to the fresh-faced Nancy Pelosi (78), the bright new face of the Democrats as she leads the resistance to that Republican dinosaur Donald J Trump (72).

Will the baby boomers ever get off the stage? They are the most tiresome and self-centred generation of all time. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 8.

Sir, – This week we learned that the Democrats have regained control of the US House of Representatives and that the ozone layer is showing signs of recovery. Perhaps both events are linked and the Earth is breathing a sigh of relief. – Yours, etc,



Co Cork.

Sir, – Fintan O’Toole tells us that Donald Trump has brought the Republican Party down to the US president’s level (Opinion & Analysis, November 7th).

I’m sorry your columnist feels that way. He used to have such love for the Republicans. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 5.