Like many other countries, the United States is going through a period of political turmoil almost unprecedented in the country’s modern history. For the first time, the soundness of the democratic system is being called into question, and concerns are growing about its democratic future. America is witnessing a plethora of attacks on democracy, from draconian abortion bans to book bans.a recent survey New York Times/Siena College Institute It showed that 71% of Republicans said they would be happy to vote for a candidate who claimed the 2020 election was stolen (37% of Independents said it, and, more worryingly, 12% of Democrats!)! ). It is therefore not surprising that many of the politicians who spread lies and try to delegitimize the 2020 elections will win elections that in many cases will allow them to control the country’s electoral machinery.
Against this backdrop, one of the closest legislative elections in recent US history will be held on Tuesday, November 8, and the stakes are high. Republican victories in one or two of the Houses of Congress currently controlled by Democrats would provide a political turnaround for a country that will be paralyzed for the next two years, as Republicans not only try to reverse President Biden’s progressive agenda, but they also will block any initiative from the White House, they will launch an investigation into the Biden administration to delegitimize and discredit it, and they may even initiate impeachment proceedings as many Republican candidates have demanded (Impeach) against Biden. For this reason, there is so much interest in trying to predict possible outcomes that a week before the election remains uncertain.
These elections are a referendum on the party in power and an opportunity to gauge the national political temperature and visualize the anxieties and hopes of American voters. For Democrats, maintaining control of Congress (both houses of Congress) and the White House will mean challenging decades of history as the “iron law” of American politics that the incumbent’s party loses seats. In midterm elections: Since World War II, the party that controls the White House has lost an average of 26 seats in the House of Representatives and 4 seats in the Senate. In 2006, George W. Bush lost 31 seats in the House of Representatives; four years later, Barack Obama won 63 Republican seats; Under Trump, Democrats won an additional 41 seats. Forecasts and polls reiterated historical trends for next week, with Democrats expected to lose the House and possibly the Senate, with polls still remarkably close.
However, nothing has been decided. On the one hand, we are living in an unprecedented moment in history, with the country emerging from a pandemic, in the midst of an economic crisis, with inflation rates unseen since the 1980s, and a level of polarization almost unprecedented in history ed. In modern America, the Supreme Court is controlled by justices appointed by a Republican president who just made one of the most controversial decisions in court history on abortion, and a majority of the parties refuse to condemn the insurrection and the attack on the Capitol 2021 1 6 and questioning President Biden’s victory in the 2020 election. It is difficult to make predictions against such a volatile and unpredictable backdrop.
On the other hand, the past few months have been a roller coaster. While recent polls suggest Republicans are gaining momentum to recapture one or both chambers of Congress, things looked very different just a few months ago. Right now, according to polls, the most closely contested Senate races, with the exception of Georgia, lean toward the Republican side, and even in districts where Republicans rarely contest, they are farther apart in the polls than ever before. . That’s not good news for Democrats, yet again showing that congressional elections in districts tend to move in line with national trends, with candidates rarely outpacing political trends at the national level, especially in deeply unpopular states with less than popular approval ratings. 50% in the case of President Biden.
However, that was not the case just a few months ago, when the topics that dominated the front pages of newspapers and the minds of Americans were abortion, guns, and challenges to democracy, which favored Democrats. But that changed quickly.According to an article and survey of New York Times/Siena College Institute Data released two weeks ago showed that the share of U.S. voters who listed the economy, inflation, crime or immigration — all pro-Republican issues — as the “most important issue” facing the country rose to 52%, up 14 points from July Percentage version of the survey. By contrast, mentions of issues like abortion, democracy or guns (all pro-Democrat) fell from 26 percent to 14 percent.
All summer, the front pages of newspapers and the minds of Americans were focused on the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade legalizing abortion, one of the most controversial decisions in the court’s history. Democrats hope that a majority rejection of the decision (61% of Americans support legalizing abortion in all or most cases) will unleash a tsunami against the GOP in November.However, the impact of the decision appears to have faded: according to the above Times/Siena, only 5 percent of voters said abortion was the most important issue facing the country. Meanwhile, other issues that also favored Democrats over the summer, such as weapons (due to revulsion following the Buffalo supermarket and Uvald, Texas, school massacres) and challenges to democracy amplified by audience surveys for 2021 Congress also appeared to be losing momentum following the Jan. 6 rebellion and attacks on Congress. Fortunately, there has been no massacre in recent weeks, and despite the revulsion caused by the images and the investigation into the attack on Congress (and the Republican Party’s timid response), there has been little talk about it for weeks. Instead, hundreds of Republican candidates will win by questioning Biden’s victory and downplaying attacks on Congress.
Instead, as Lisa Lerer writes in New York Times, the final days of the campaign focused on issues that favored the Republican Party: the economy, crime and immigration. If gasoline prices fall by the end of the summer and inflation is expected to be contained, the latest economic data suggests that such optimism is unjustified: inflation continues at 8.2%, the stock market continues to fall, and American citizens (like the rest of the world) we are Gradually lose purchasing power. If the question was whether we were better off than we were two years ago, millions of Americans would look at inflation and most importantly gasoline prices and answer no. Crime numbers hurt Democrats, too: While the most recent annual government survey by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that violent crime in the U.S. has not risen recently, citizens believe crime has risen. Finally, Republicans continue to exploit the anti-immigration voice, which Trump successfully capitalized on with high-impact campaigns such as transporting immigrants from southern states (Florida and Texas) to more liberal states. The northern states took over. Among them (Florida) Governor DeSantis recently chartered a plane full of immigrants from Venezuela and flew them to Martha’s Vineyard, a liberal bastion and high-profile elite resort .
Still, the feeling right now is that the Democrats peaked in support a few weeks early, while the past few weeks have favored the Republicans. Still, Democrats have backed inexperienced and unqualified Republican candidates (especially Senate candidates) such as New Hampshire’s Don Bolduc, Georgia’s Herschel Walker, Arizona’s Blake Masters, Pennsylvania’s Mehmet Oz and Ohio’s JD Vance. Although they won the primary with Trump’s backing, their repeated mistakes and extreme positions made the Senate race more competitive and unpredictable. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged that “it’s probably more likely to change the majority in the House than in the Senate. Senate races are just different … the quality of the candidates has a lot to do with the outcome.” With the election still a week away, it’s still possible that these candidates will continue to err and/or create new scandals, tipping the balance in these states’ favor for Democrats.
For all these reasons, it is too early to make predictions, and anything is still possible. A week in politics, especially in these turbulent times, is an eternity, and if the results of Georgia’s Senate election, as happened in 2020, force a runoff election in December, we must brace ourselves for a long election night and even Prepare for weeks of uncertainty.
 Lisa Lerer, “The State of the Midterm Elections,” New York TimesOctober 20, 2022.
IMAGE: Rockefeller Center, New York City, November 2016 midterm election night. Photo: Marco Verch via Creative Commons/GPA Photo Archive (CC BY 2.0).