The American midterm elections attracted intense interest in Europe, where much of the political and media establishment are hostile to U.S. President Donald J. Trump, and many had openly hoped that the vote on November 6 would weaken him and his legislative agenda.
Newspapers and magazines across Europe provided saturation coverage of the elections. The overwhelming majority of commentaries and editorials, while customarily vitriolic in tone, grudgingly acknowledged that the midterm results did not amount to the total repudiation of the Trump Administration and may even help the president's chances for reelection in November 2020.
In terms of transatlantic relations, many observers raised fears that if the Democrats, who won control of the House of Representatives, succeed in thwarting Trump's domestic initiatives, the president may place more focus on foreign policy and increase pressure on free-riding European allies to spend more for their own defense.
What follows is a brief summary of some of the European media coverage of this year's U.S. midterm elections.
In Britain, the BBC, in an article entitled, "Midterm Election Results: What it all Means for Trump," wrote:
"Even handing over power to Democrats in the House of Representatives may have a bit of a silver lining for the president. Now he'll have someone to blame if the economy takes a turn for the worse (and, given business cycle realities, it might). He's got a ready-made explanation for why he can't get anything done in the next two years — and a pitch for what needs to change in the next election.
"Day in and day out, he'll have a set of clear political opponents to contrast himself with.
"Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama lost control of the House in their first term in office and went on to win re-election."
The left-leaning Guardian, in an article, "Don't be Fooled. The Midterms Were Not a Bad Night for Trump," agreed:
"While there was a Democratic 'blue wave,' it was modest, in line with usual midterm shifts, particularly when one party is in charge of all the branches of government. Trump will celebrate this as a victory, which is not without merit.
Another Guardian article, "Democratic Presidential Frontrunner for 2020 Fails to Emerge from Midterms," observed:
"As many as two dozen Democrats are said to be seriously considering running for president. The sprawling field spans the ideological spectrum of the left and is distinguished by gender, race and age....
"The major fault line is between those who believe the party's next presidential nominee should be unapologetically liberal who can boost turnout among progressives, minorities, young people and other base voters, and those who believe the party should nominate a candidate who can chart a...