Donald Trump's path back to power now looks in jeopardy - has America moved on?

Have Americans moved on from Donald Trump? Credit: AP

Donald Trump will be waking up this morning in a foul mood.  This is not the political landscape he expected to greet him as the sun rises over his Mar-a-Lago resort.

These midterms elections are about control of Congress, not the White House.

But they are also about 2024 and the future of Donald Trump.  He was hoping that his loyalists would romp to power, and that a clear Republican victory would boost the Trump brand.

It would then be a springboard for declaring his candidacy for the presidency next week.

It hasn't worked out that way. Not at all.

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Republicans have underperformed in multiple races.  Many election deniers who echoed Trump's lies about a stolen election were defeated.

And perhaps worst of all from his narrow political perspective, it was a spectacular night for the Republican governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis.

The governor won a huge victory across the state, boosting his credentials as a Republican presidential candidate.

Former president Donald Trump sits alone at Mar-a-lago on election day. Credit: AP

So Trump now faces a credible and formidable competitor for the Republican nomination in 2024.

Of course, the former president cannot be discounted. His supporters are resilient and incredibly loyal. But it feels like America - especially more moderate Republicans - may have moved on from Donald Trump.

I sensed it at a Trump pre-election rally in Dayton on Monday night. It was small in size, and people started drifting away earlier than usual. People seemed bored. The great political circus that is a Trump rally felt a sorry state of affairs.

True, the story of these 2022 midterm elections is about a deeply divided country and a disappointing night for Republicans.

But, equally, perhaps the headline is that the political phenomenon of Donald Trump has peaked and that America is ready for a different conservative flag-bearer.

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