Enrique Dans
Published in

Enrique Dans

Why the US mid-term elections are so important

On November 6, Americans will vote in mid-term elections to decide the occupants of 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 up for grabs in the Senate, along with 39 state governments. Further elections will take place at state and local level throughout the country. As a rule, mid-term elections are of little interest at the international level, but on this occasion a series of circumstances converge that will doubtless attract interest around the world.

The title of this entry is a truism: practically any electoral process in the United States affects the whole world, but in this case, even more is at stake than normal. In short, a counterbalance is desperately needed to stop the most dangerous, most harmful and most untruthful president in US history, and who came to office through electoral manipulation. Trump would certainly have to reconsider his disastrous environmental and trade policies, which affect the whole world, if the Republicans were to lose control of Congress.

The social networks that enabled the Arab Spring and then contributed to Trump’s triumph in 2016 are increasingly under careful scrutiny, at the same time as they themselves are working on ways to prevent further manipulation. We need to understand that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections went so far as to analyze the five types of Trump voters and to then carefully design strategies to reach them with the collaboration of Facebook, which has said it will be offering a much lower level of direct support to political parties.

Trump’s campaign and ascent to the presidency has influenced how young people view the news and has led to a crisis of confidence that will undoubtedly affect a generation that seems to increasingly reject social networks they were never taught to use properly. It is very possible that many Trump voters have responded to the climate of constant criticism of their president by adopting more radical positions, and it is also possible that many have realized, despite the economic upturn, the impact of having such a person in the White House.

These elections will be a milestone: Trump trying to govern with a Democrat majority in Congress hobbling him at every step would be worthy of a television series; they will also produce a change in electoral marketing. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation and the intense media coverage of it, the arrest of more and more men close to the president, along with others involved in the matter, as well as public disclosure of how Russian intelligence influenced US voters have prompted many voters to question everything they read, every message they received, in search of possible segmentation strategies. What were previously a few uncomfortable announcements or blunders in the campaign are now seen by many as part of possible conspiracies aimed at radicalizing their ideas or influencing their votes.

Analysis of the results of these statewide and local elections, will provide clues as to how political communication will evolve in the future, not just in the United States, but throughout the world. Pay attention!

(En español, aquí)

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