By Hanif Ghaffari

Crossing controversial president

December 30, 2017

TEHRAN _ Over the past months, there have been whispers in the U.S. political environments and the country's media regarding Republicans bypassing Trump. The rejection of some Republican prominent senators, including McCain, with Trump, as well as the opposition of some of the United States former presidents, including George W. Bush, has aggravated this trend.

However, few thought that at the end of 2017, while only about a year has passed since the presence of Trump at the White House, the confrontation between the dissatisfied Republicans and the U.S. President would become public.

The fact is that Republicans in the United States are now worried about the country's 2020 presidential elections. Surveys in this country have shown that Trump's popularity has fallen by about 35%. Even in some surveys, Trump's popularity has dropped to 30% and below. Although the president of the United States claims that the polls are all fake, it is obvious that the popularity of Trump with American citizens has fallen since the time of the presidential elections in 2016.

 The Republican defeat in the recent state elections in Alabama indicates the same thing. On the other hand, Democrats have already started their efforts to conquer the White House and return to power.People like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are listed as possible candidates for the Democratic Party in the 2020 presidential elections. Surveys show that if any of these two Democratic politicians stand against Trump, they can easily defeat him in the competitions. In such a situation, we are witnessing increasing objections to the President's approach and, of course, an aggravated concern by Republican senators over the political situation of their party.
Dissatisfied Republicans are worried that their name is now tied up to Trump, and this will have heavy costs for the party. They are worried that the failure of the mid-term congressional elections this year, and the failure of the presidential elections of 2020, will only be a short-term expense! In other words, they are worried because of their support for Trump, they would lose the chance to return to the White House for many years.

In recent days, as American citizens are ready to welcome the New Year, some of the U.S. senators have come into direct opposition to the country's president. Recent remarks by Republican Senator, "Jeff Flake", indicate that the party may not introduce Trump as its final candidate in the upcoming presidential elections.  Flake stated:

"That's not in my plans. But I do wonder, I do worry, that in the future we'll be faced with President Trump running for reelection on one side, Drilling down hard on a diminishing base and on the other side you might have you know somebody like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren on the far left of the Democratic Party…U.S. President Donald Trump may face competition to be the Republican Party’s nominee for the 2020 White House race if he decides to pursue a second term,I do believe if the president is running for re-election, if he continues on the path that he’s on, that’s going to leave a huge swath of voters looking for something else, If he’s the Republican nominee again, we’re likely to see an independent candidate  in the November 2020 presidential election."

Senator Flake's remarks are contemplative. This warning has been given to Trump while it's usually considered normal in the United States for the first-term president of the country to be automatically elected as Republican or Democrat's candidate for the next four years. In any case, recent statements by Jeff Flake suggest that deepening dissatisfaction with Trump do exist among the Republicans. These dissatisfactions would probably be intensified in 2018, during the competitions for the Congressional race! Polls in the United States suggest that Democrats are likely to defeat Republicans and conquer Congress (House of Representatives and Senate) during the congressional elections.

This is despite the fact that in 2016, the Democrats accepted a heavy defeat of the Republicans in the congressional and presidential elections. If the Republicans fail in the congressional midterm elections, we will see an intensification of intra-party criticism of Trump, because the defeat in the mid-term election is a prelude to the failure of the 2020 presidential election. And this is going to be the best possible news for the Democratic presidential nominee for the next presidential election. Hence, within the Democratic Party, we will see a strong competition among electoral candidates.

 During the 2008 campaigns, we saw precisely the same environment in the Democratic Party.In 2008, it was already almost clear that the Democratic nominee in the inner-party elections had a great chance to conquer the White House. That year, we witnessed a close competition between Hillary Clinton and Obama within the Democratic Party. A competition that ended up with Hillary Clinton's failure and Obama's victory which ultimately led him into the White House.

However, it seems that the controversial President of the United States doesn't intend to simply yield to the threats of Senator Flake and other senators or dissident Republican officials! During the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump had clearly stated that he would independently nominate himself if the Republicans did not support him. And this threat by Trump remains strong today. Trump's personality is such that he would participate in the presidential competitions even if he sees no Republicans support for himself.But this will naturally eliminate a significant part of Republicans' votes. Under such conditions, the Democrats are going to have an easy victory in the presidential elections of 2020.

In any case, we should expect the full opposition of the Republican leaders and Senators to the White House in 2018, an opposition that lasts until 2020.

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