US midterm elections: Are the Democrats peaking early? | Currently
It could be in American politics. At the beginning of this year, a “Republican wave” was predicted in the midterm elections for the House of Representatives and the Senate. In the summer, Democrats surprisingly recovered. But they may have peaked too soon. With only three weeks left – the mid-term On November 8th – the Republicans seem to have the best papers again.
President Joe Biden’s popularity plummeted last spring. Opinion polls have shown that Republicans have a good chance of taking over the House and a majority in the Senate. The summer has become more optimistic for the Democratic Party.
The Supreme Court – dominated by conservative justices – decided in June to sweep the right to abortion nationwide. A large majority of Americans disagreed. Democrats hope the chief justices’ controversial ruling will encourage more voters to put their crosses behind the names of the Democratic candidates in November. A plan to tighten abortion laws was convincingly rejected in a referendum in conservative Kansas in early August.
For a while it seemed that abortion would become the most important political issue during mid-term.
From abortion to economics
Earlier in the year, the focus was on economic problems affecting large parts of the world, such as rising inflation and rising energy prices. The Biden administration has passed a few ambitious bills through Congress, including a strategically chosen one called the Inflation Reduction Act. Lower fuel prices meant that voters’ wallets were less affected at the gas pump. Biden’s popularity has gradually risen from his pre-summer trough.
With only three weeks to go until the election, the picture appears to be tilting again. Fuel prices are rising again and inflation is still an ongoing problem. At the same time, the hype around the abortion law has largely disappeared from the front pages. Republicans campaign mainly on the economy and crime.
Polls show that these two topics are by far the most important election topics for many Americans. The inclusion of a group could be the deciding factor in the races where it matters: independent female voters. Democrats hope that being won over the abortion issue can go to waste.
It looks like the Democrats are losing the house
There is a firm belief in American politics that the party of the incumbent president will lose a significant number of seats in Congress in the midterm elections. This is not always the case. For example, it did not happen in 2002 and 2014. But when it does, the loss is often so great that it remains well remembered. Take 2010, when Democrats had to cede 63 seats in the House of Representatives, and then-President Barack Obama admitted that voters had hit his party “a big blow.”
If trends in opinion polls that began in September translate to the polls, Democrats could deposit their majority in the House of Representatives this year. Even if that doesn’t turn out to be a major defeat in 2010, any Republican rise could make things very difficult for Biden’s administration during the last two years of his first term.
The race for the Senate is more exciting
In the Senate, Democrats stand a better chance of retaining a slim majority. This relates to the fact that only one-third of the seats in the Senate are allocated, compared to all the seats in the House of Representatives. Additionally, Senate races revolve around the personalities of the candidates.
Republican candidates such as TV star Dr. Mehmet Oz (Pennsylvania) and former soccer star Herschel Walker (Georgia) have the blessing of former President Donald Trump. But they are not seen as the strongest of choices in the fight against the Democrats. “The quality of the candidates has a huge impact on the outcome,” Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, said in mid-August.
It should be noted that Senate Republicans need only a one-seat net gain to break the current Democratic majority. And while Oz and Walker lag slightly behind their rivals, these distances aren’t as great as some previously thought. So November 8 is going to be exciting anyway.
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