The Republican Party enters the 2022 midterm elections with a landslide victory. High inflation, an unpopular president and pessimism about the direction of the country point to a «typical» midterm victory for a party without the White House. But Republican gains were weaker than expected, while Democrats fared better than expected. It appears that Democrats have limited their losses in the House of Representatives and scored important victories in the gubernatorial race. However, the recount is still underway, and Republicans still have a chance to take control of the House and Senate.
What seems clear is that other aspects of American politics that are beginning to matter more and more are being ignored, a set of structural realities that make it less and less likely that one side will «overwhelm» the other in an election.
First, fewer and fewer people are willing to «defect» and defect, even if they are unhappy with the status quo status quo, leading to more tense elections and fewer and fewer «tides». Trump and Biden entered their first midterm elections with similar approval ratings (about 44%). But, of those who disapproved of Biden «something,» 49 percent voted Democrat, according to the poll. In 2018, those who «somewhat» disapproved of Trump voted overwhelmingly for the Democratic candidate (63%).
Second, when every election becomes a matter of life and death like the trend—each party has a hard time acknowledging the legitimacy of the other—fewer and fewer voters stay home, which is common in midterm elections when voter numbers drop sharply. In the end, events and politicians’ responses no longer have the capacity to fundamentally and profoundly reshape politics. Let’s remember what Donald Trump called «barbarism,» or the recent attacks on Paul Pelosi. Five or six years ago, it would have led to unanimous condemnation from the entire American political class, but what is happening now is that it is causing a spiral of right-wing conspiracy theories and somehow normalizing an extraordinary situation that has no political ramifications melted. influences.
In the end, not all voters voted for the president, and the economy wasn’t the deciding factor, despite the polls.Many Democratic candidates have been able to turn the election into a choose election, is more about choosing between candidates, and the quality of the candidates matters. Even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has raised concerns about the quality of many Republican candidates and their high cost to the party. Some of them, like Georgia’s Herschel Walker, Arizona’s Blake Masters, Pennsylvania’s Mehmet Oz and Doug Mastroiano, have no political experience and have been embroiled in scandals , with far-right political views and lacks the seriousness of the other candidates. .
To all this, we must add a group of anti-MAGA voters (make america great again) have already started to make them feel in 2018 and 2020. As long as those voters go to the polls, Democrats will remain competitive in the most contested states and districts. The Jan. 6 hearing was a reminder that Trump exists and that he is dangerous. This combined with the overturning of Roe v. Wade mobilized the Democrats in an election, theoretically the greatest enthusiasm corresponding to the Republicans.
While Republican expectations fell short, two big winners were worth noting, Ron DeSantis and Brian Kemp. As of early 2021, Gov. Brian Kemp is considered the most vulnerable Republican incumbent in the country and one of the few Republicans to have survived Trump’s wrath. And he easily won re-election with 54% of the vote. In Florida, Ron DeSantis, who narrowly took office in 2018, defeated Democrat Charlie Crist by nearly 60% of the vote. He is Trump’s strongest opponent and has seen many of his candidates lose.
President Biden appeared to be the only one who expressed optimism until the end, but the White House is privately preparing contingencies in case Republicans take control of one or both chambers of Congress, a situation Biden himself says would make life «more difficult.» ’ ” And, while the results are good, after two ambitious first years, the balance of Biden’s tenure will be reconfigured and the White House’s priorities will have to be reordered.
Unsurprisingly, the Republican majority is a less willing partner to compromise with the Democratic White House, but in the current political climate it is developing to extreme levels of belligerence. Expect legislative deadlock and aggressive use of congressional tools to bash and provoke the Biden administration, not legislative productivity and a cooperative stance from this Congress toward the White House.
Republicans, who hold a majority in the House, are likely to aggressively use the house’s oversight powers, which could include closely monitoring the administration’s compliance with laws passed by this Congress. One might expect Republican-controlled committees to keep a close eye on any allegedly wasted spending under the Inflation Cutting Act, and to raise as many voices as possible if they see something wrong.
Several Republican representatives have also made it clear that they will try to launch investigations through the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in August 2021 or immigration at the southern border, from Anthony Fauci to Hunter Biden. It’s easy to imagine Republicans using these tools for public persuasion of voters in 2024.
Then there’s «The Power of Money.» The House itself cannot pass bills, but it can refuse to pass them, give them money, and can threaten a government shutdown.House Republican leader and likely future president Kevin McCarthy has threatened to hold the debt ceiling hostage in an attempt to force cuts, which could include cuts such as medical insuranceand limit additional funding to Ukraine.
If Republicans also control the House and Senate, their options for obstructing the government will expand further. Primarily, they could refuse to confirm President Biden’s appointments, making it difficult for his agenda to be reformed through the executive branch and the judiciary at the federal level.
In the most extreme cases, they can even drive a Impeach President Biden or members of his administration.There is already speculation about the possibility of challenging the secretary homeland security, Alejandro Mayorkas, for his stewardship of the southern border. Although it seems unlikely that Republicans will gain the two-thirds majority necessary in the Senate to achieve this goal.
But let’s also not forget senior Republicans like Mike Rogers, Adrian Smith, or Michael McCall, who are likely to lead the House military, commerce, and international affairs committees and subcommittees, as well as many others in the Senate, trying to give Continuity and work on those areas where bipartisanship remains, such as critical competition with China.
In short, the electoral landscape has not changed much. It is becoming more and more difficult to break the partisanship. The quality of the candidates is very important. Trump was moved…maybe sunk.
Image: Capitol dome with American flag. Photo: David Maiolo (Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0).
Author: Carlota García Encina
The USA News Web published for the first time the 2022 midterm elections: whether it’s a presidential referendum or an economic referendum.