Republicans are widely expected to gain control of Congress in November’s midterm elections. It’s not a question of “if” Democrats will lose control of the House — and probably the Senate — but rather by how many seats.
Even before President Joe Biden took office, historical trends suggested that Democrats, who hold a meager congressional majority, would be at risk in 2022: In midterm elections since 1974, the president’s party has lost an average of 23 seats in the House, according to Gallup.
By all indications, Democrats are on track to see an above-average seat loss this year, given Biden’s approval rating and three other key national voting indicators: satisfaction with how things are going in the US, assessments of the economy, and job approval. BAccording to the same Gallup analysis, y Congress — is well below historical averages in recent midterm elections.
In the two worst midterm election years for Democrats in modern history – 2010 under former President Barack Obama and 1994 under former President Bill Clinton – the party lost 63 and 53 seats in the US House, respectively. This year, Democrats could see even bigger seat losses.
Indeed, President Biden’s approval rating is currently lower than Obama’s and Clinton’s at the same points in their presidencies. Furthermore, in 2022, compared to 2010 and 1994, Americans will be less satisfied with the state of affairs in the country, more pessimistic about the economy, and less in agreement with Congress.
Is there any chance that with only five months until the midterms, the Democratic Party will be able to reverse its political fortunes and avoid a red-wave election?
In short, it is possible but highly unlikely at the moment, given the country’s multitude of crises and the hostile political environment facing Democrats.
While some Democrats are optimistic that recent events will bolster the party’s grassroots and stem their losses — namely, news that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade and the renewed focus on gun control after a series of mass shootings — polls do. That doesn’t carry that out.
Republicans have a 12-point enthusiasm advantage over Democrats, according to an Economist/YouGov poll conducted after the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, and thus after the news of Roe v. Wade broke.
It is also highly unlikely that abortion rights and guns will supplant the economy as the most important issue in the medium term. In the past week, inflation hit its 41-year high, the average gas gallon price hit $5, and stocks entered a bear market. Voters struggle with higher prices every day, and fair or not, they will take their economic frustrations out on Democrats during the midterm elections.
The Biden administration’s efforts to highlight positive economic indicators — higher wages and historically low unemployment — have been politically unsuccessful.
Despite Biden’s efforts to distance the party from the left’s unpopular policing policies as crime ramps up across the country, Tuesday’s Los Angeles mayoral election results indicate Democrats will struggle to counter GOP attacks. Ahead of the midterm elections.
While Democratic Representative Karen Bass tried to take a more moderate tone on police and criminal justice, as Biden tried, Rick Caruso — formerly a Republican, has never held elected office, and takes police positions to the right of Bass — succeeded—Managed to take the lead in one of the most democratically oriented cities in the country.
In addition to the national Democrats’ failed coverage of the economy and crime, the party has been unable to communicate a path forward for the country on the other worsening crises we face, including the situation on the southern border and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Historical trends, Biden’s highly negative ratings, widespread pessimism, and the Democratic Party’s failure to deliver compelling messages on key issues — the economy, crime, immigration, and the pandemic — indicate that Democrats should be on track. May be to lose as many seats as they did in 2010 and 1994, if not more.
LifeNews Note: Douglas E. Schoen is a Democratic pollster and strategist. He is the author of “The Political Fix: Changing the Game of American Democracy, From the Grass Roots to the White House.”