The Election that will Define the Trump Presidency - Midterms 2018


On Wednesday, June 20, 2018 John Nichols, national affairs correspondent of the magazine The Nation and Matthias Kolb, political journalist of the Süddeutsche Zeitung discussed the upcoming midterm elections in the United States and their effects on the political landscape as well as the Trump administration.

Both agreed that this year’s midterms will draw national and international attention as hardly ever before. The US and the world will have a close eye on whether the Trump administration and its controversial policies will face a backlash from the voters, or whether it will be able to mobilize its electoral base and come back even stronger.


Kolb suggested that in a “regular” midterm election, the House of Representatives and the Senate might swing to the opposite party, but, even given Trump’s divisive politics, this year might be the exception. Nichols agreed that while there are a lot of interesting Democratic candidates on the ballot in contested states and districts, everything depends on whether these can motivate the public to vote. In particular during the 2016 presidential elections, Trump was way more successful in mobilizing his base.


The recent developments with strong economic growth, low unemployment, and potential successes in the negotiations with North Korea might provoke a stable tailwind for the Republican campaign. As Nichols pointed out, a Republican win in the midterms will probably turn the historically conservative party even more into a Trumpian vehicle than it already is. Many staunch social conservatives such as Jeff Flake or Paul Ryan are thus no longer available for re-election.


We thank John Nichols and Matthias Kolb for an intense and highly interesting discussion.


(Photo: John Nichols, Matthias Kolb at the Amerikahaus ©Amerikahaus)