Analysis of US midterms needs more complexity
I found the articles on the US midterm elections by Chris McGreal and Jeffrey Isaacs (16 November) most engaging, if incomplete. McGreal’s take on the rural-urban divide seems to support the argument that Democratic neglect of “the rural places” was a significant reason for the election of Donald Trump, and that beating Trump in 2020 depends on paying more attention to the needs of rural America. Any serious candidate needs to address rural decline, but neglect of those issues was hardly the reason for Trump’s victory in 2016.
Isaacs’s analysis bolsters the emerging Democratic consensus that the party should beware of “moving right”. Still, the analysis omits some details that favoured Democratic candidates. Chief among these is demographic change. For example, in reviewing the liberal Beto O’Rourke’s strong showing in Texas, Isaacs says it is “perhaps the ‘reddest’ state in the nation”. This ignores demographic changes such as the increasing influence of minority voters, something likely to have an even stronger impact in 2020. John Geffroy Las Vegas, New Mexico, US