Find us @

Feature

Democrats’ midterm prospects perk up as Biden finally hits his stride

For months, Democrats’ prospects in the November midterm elections have looked dire. The party, hamstrung by Joe Biden’s plunging popularity rates, has faced an electorate dealing with soaring grocery bills and gas prices, mounting housing crises and recession fears, as well as anger over the overturning of Roe v Wade by the supreme court. This seeming dissatisfaction with Democrats, evidenced in various polls, came amid an already unfavorable…

Published

on

Democrats’ chances of winning any seats in Congress in November have been bleak for months. The party has been constrained by Joe Biden’s declining popularity ratings as voters struggle with rising gas and grocery prices, escalating housing issues, worries about the impending recession, and resentment over the highest court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

This apparent unhappiness with Democrats, which was supported by numerous polls, emerged in an adverse historical setting. According to the New York Times, since the Second World War, the political party in power in America has lost seats in almost every midterm election.

Republicans, on the other hand, have used inflation as a political tool, attributing it to Biden and Democrats’ extravagant spending and using crime as a bogeyman for a fearful populace. Additionally, they won a number of redistricting battles, which may have given them an advantage in several elections.

However, recent special elections give hope that Democrats may not be as politically troubled as previously thought. Particularly given that Biden and his party have also enjoyed a string of victories, including passing a sizable domestic spending bill through the Senate, eliminating a major terrorist abroad, and posting roaring jobs numbers that have seen employment return to levels seen before the pandemic.

Republicans still seem on track to regain control of the House, but some observers believe their margin of victory may not be as large as earlier anticipated.

Advertisement

According to the news website Axios’ analysis of three August contests between Democrats and Republicans, the party is now surpassing predictions at the polls. One was the special election for Minnesota’s first district, in which Republican Brad Finstad defeated Democrat Jeff Ettinger by a margin of four points.

Only one point separated this victory from Jim Hagedorn, a late Republican congressman, who won by a three-point margin in 2020. Notably, according to Axios, Trump carried the district by a 10-point margin that year.

Additionally, two elections in Washington state offered evidence of the Republican Party’s probable political reversal. In the eighth congressional district of Washington, where candidates from both parties were on the same primary ballot, Democrats received 49.6% of the vote to Republicans’ 49.2%.

According to popular opinion, Republicans should win this crucial swing seat with a sizable lead after Democratic congressman Kim Schrier of Washington only won it by four points in 2020.

Gallery: How Democrats other than Joe Biden are campaigning for office without really running for office (Business Insider)

Advertisement

In the race for the Washington state Senate, Democratic candidate Patty Murray received 52.5% of the vote to Republicans’ 41.2%.

Republicans are making progress, according to the results, but not quite enough to unseat the seasoned senator in a strong blue state, according to Axios.

This may be explained by a number of historic victories for Democrats. They passed the $739 billion healthcare and climate plan known as the Inflation Reduction Act on Sunday.

The party has pledged that if Biden approves this bill, it will reduce healthcare costs for millions of people because it will allow Medicare to start haggling over the cost of some expensive prescription drugs. Additionally, the plan would set a $2,000 annual cap on Medicare users’ out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs.

Lower prices could apply to those who purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace. Tax proposals included in this legislation, such as a new corporate minimum tax and a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks, could reduce the deficit by $300 billion in addition to funding these efforts.

Advertisement

Additionally, several economic indices have improved. According to reports and AAA, gas prices have fallen below $4 for the first time in months.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that there were 528,000 more people employed on non-farm payrolls in July. According to CNBC, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.5%, while salaries increased by 0.5% in July compared to the same month in 2021.

When Biden revealed that US drone strikes had killed al-Qaida commander Ayman al-Zawahiri, he also achieved political success. Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s lieutenant, participated in the planning of the September 11 attacks.

According to Sharon Austin, a political science professor at the University of Florida, there is “a glimmer of hope” that the inflation rate will improve and that gas prices will decline. Along with several Republican Senate candidates’ poor performances and Trump’s escalating legal problems, Biden’s bipartisan achievements are also helpful.

The Center for the Study of Diversity and Democracy at Northwestern University was founded and is directed by Alvin Tillery, one of the political analysts who does not believe that Democrats would suffer significant losses. According to Tillery, “I was never one of those people in the camp with my own poll, my own work, to believe that it was going to be a complete carnage.

Advertisement

Tillery predicts that Democrats will not only keep the Senate but but perhaps gain one or two seats, underperforming Republicans in Senate races. Tillery disagrees, however, that this is because of financial difficulties.

Instead, according to Tillery, this is the result of Republicans’ gross political gaffes, which outweigh Democrats’ neglect of the racial and economic inequality problems that drew people of color to the polls.

Republicans, in particular Trumpist Republicans, are, in Tillery’s opinion, “far out of step with the mainstream opinion, which is part of the reason they behave the way they do and try to take power constantly.”

“The Democrats received this gift from the Republicans on Roe. It’s just so strange that they would use the Dobbs ruling as justification to talk about repealing [same-sex marriage], removing the right to privacy, and other things in an election year.

The recent vote by Kansans to preserve abortion in the state constitution gave the abortion rights movement a stunning triumph in a socially conservative red state, Shawn J. Donahue, an assistant professor in the department of political science at the University of Buffalo, pointed out.

Advertisement

In reference to Democrats’ participation in the Kansas race, Donahue observed, “That simply really turned out their voters.”