Democrats must do more than Trump-bashing if they want to win – analysts
Trump has cast the midterm elections as a referendum on himself. While the Republican president is not on the ballot, the campaign has been indeed largely about him, with Democrats missing no opportunity to tear into the administration's immigration policies, branding the president racist and even comparing him to Osama bin Laden.
Some Democrats think that Trump-bashing is not enough of a platform to stand on, however. Richard Goodstein, former advisor to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, told RT that if the Democrats want to bring about the 'Blue Wave' they must focus on their own agenda.
"Democrats, if they're going to win tonight and if they're going to win in 2020, have to have an affirmative, positive agenda, having nothing to do with President Donald Trump," Goodstein said.
Daniel McAdams, executive director at the Ron Paul Institute, agrees, noting that the Democrats "ran a horrible campaign" under the slogan "Trump is racist, vote for me." McAdams believes that Democrats failed to offer an "alternative narrative" and that might hurt them at the ballot box.
Goodstein, however, still believes that Trump "is uniquely disfavored" and many of the voters who strongly disapprove of Trump will take to the polls, allowing the Democrats to regain the House of Representatives.
'Russiagate’ not high on election agenda, but will be back if Democrats win'
The long-running "Russia collusion" probe has been sidelined in the election debate as purely domestic issues such as economy and health care have taken center stage. The midterms have even been dubbed the "health care election." About three-quarters of the registered voters named health care as in important issue to their vote, according to recent Pew research.
Goodstein called health care "the fundamental issue that separates the two parties."
"Most [Democratic candidates] were talking about the fact that if Donald Trump is in charge, Americans who have preexisting conditions or any kind of health challenge for themselves or their family, won't be able to buy health care," he said. However, Goodstein believes that the relative silence over the alleged links between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia will be broken again as soon as the Democrats take over the House.
McAdams also noted the silence on the Russia issue – though he believes it proves that Democrats have never believed their own claims in the first place.
"If the Democrats really believe that this President is controlled by Russia, then why do they say nothing about it? The fact is they do not believe it, they just use it as a way to try to overturn the elections. They are not going to put their money where their mouths are because they know there's nothing there,” he told RT.
'Very little' real difference between Republicans and Democrats
Tensions have been running high ahead of the midterms, with Democrats calling to shed civility and Republicans branding their opponents left-wing socialists. But are the two parties so wide apart politically? McAdams believes that Republicans and Democrats are effectively the same.
“This is the real story of this election. On the substantive things beyond the manufactured outrage of all of the Kavanaugh and all of this sort of thing, in real substantive areas, there really is very little if any difference between the two parties," he said.
Goodstein, on the other hand, still believes in the good old two-party system and the checks and balances that are at the core of the American political life.
"An American voter is not happy with one party being in charge," he said. "Americans, by and large, like the idea of checks and balances under our constitution and our system, and with Republican House, Senate and White House, this is a feeling that this has gone out of whack. I think the public will repudiate him [Trump] by voting in a Democratic-controlled House of Representative, because they do want a check."
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