Sunday, January 23, 2022

Amid Partisan Rankor, US Looks Toward 2022 Midterm Elections

As of Wednesday, America had 300 days until the next federal election, when voters would vote for all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate, with overwhelming consequences for the other half. During the four-year term of President Joe Biden.

While it may seem to people outside Washington that it is too soon to start thinking about the election, there is little doubt that major figures in Washington are already weighing their every move with the view that it How can it affect the sentiments of voters in November? ,

This especially applies to Biden, who has been struggling with an approval rating that has been hovering between 40% and 45% for several weeks as the coronavirus pandemic and inflation slash the cost of living for everyday Americans by nearly four. is not seen in decade.

Called a “midterm election” because it occurs at the midpoint of a president’s four-year term, the results are usually heavily influenced by public perception of the president.

“There is no reason to think that the midterm election in November of this year will be anything other than what usually happens, and this is a referendum on the performance of the president and the president’s party,” said William A. Galston, a senior fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies program, told VOA.

FILE – In this image of the video, lawmakers and staff members hold a conference on the Senate floor at the US Capitol in Washington on February 13, 2021.

Congress’s control at stake

Control of both the House and the Senate is very much in vogue. The Democrats have nominal control of both houses, but are severely constrained in implementing their proposals due to a 50-50 split in the Senate. Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris is able to cast tie-breaking votes, but the body’s filibuster rule allows Republicans to block most laws from voting in the first place.

Democrats have a slim majority of 222-212 in the House, with one seat vacant. Republicans favor winning enough seats to take over the House in November.

In the Senate, the likely outcome is unclear. Of the 34 seats to be contested in this cycle, 20 are Republican and 14 are Democrats. The overwhelming majority is considered “secure,” meaning the incumbent is likely to be re-elected. The six races generally considered competitive are divided equally, with three conducted by Republicans and three by Democrats.

As difficult as it is currently for Biden to implement his agenda through Congress, the loss of control of the House or Senate for Republicans would all but guarantee the closure of his legislative agenda in the second half of his term.

referendum on the president

Historically, midterm elections have been difficult for the President’s party. In all but three of the midterm elections since the Civil War of 1861–65, the party of the incumbent president has lost seats in the House.

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks at Statue Hall on the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, January 6, 2022.

FILE – President Joe Biden speaks at Statue Hall on the first anniversary of the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump, January 6, 2022.

“The best predictor of how a party is going to do is the approval rating of the current president’s job,” Charlie Cook, founder of Cook Political Report, told VOA. “And the more it is under 50%, the harder it is. So if you have a president who is 42% or 43%, as is President Biden, that’s not a good thing. [for Democrats],

“Sometimes you can oversimplify things in politics, but I think the midterm benefits from oversimplification,” said Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

“Historically, unless there’s some sort of major external circumstance or extraordinary circumstance, you wouldn’t expect an unpopular president’s party to do well in the mid-term,” Kondik told VOA. “And so I think what we can say from January’s vantage point is that Biden’s numbers need to get better or the Democrats are in real danger of losing the House and the Senate in particular.”

dispute possible

In the absence of some grand integration program that pushes Americans to transcend political boundaries, the 2022 election will be held in an atmosphere of extreme partisan rancor. Following the 2020 election, in which former President Donald Trump falsely claimed he had stolen the presidency, several states passed controversial new election laws that made the election’s outcome more likely and more challenging to resolve. could make.

“If there is a close election in a major race—let’s say it’s a Senate race that can determine control of the Senate—whether the losing side will be willing to accept the legitimacy of the result or be convinced that in the process Was it rigged in some way?” Rick Pilds, an election law expert and Sudler family professor of constitutional law at New York University School of Law. “We are already in a culture of tremendous mistrust” [of the election] on both sides of the spectrum. ,

Pilds pointed out that the situation was exacerbated by one aspect of the US election system that is different from most other democracies.

“In America, we don’t have independent institutions to oversee and administer our elections, unlike a lot of democracies,” he told the VOA. “We have partisan elected officials … govern most of the election process and there is now great concern that losers will explain themselves – in a close election, especially if the other party’s elected figures are in control of the process – about the process. Something was corrupt in me.”

Galston of the Brookings Institution said that if there is controversy, it is likely to be in a handful of races.

“At this point, so many elections are held in jurisdictions that are dominated by one party or the other that we may not see such close elections, either at the Congress district level or at the state level,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to reach the intensity we saw after the 2020 presidential election.”

FILE - Protesters against abortion rights demonstrate in Washington in front of the US Supreme Court, December 1, 2021.

FILE – Protesters against abortion rights demonstrate in Washington in front of the US Supreme Court, December 1, 2021.

Abortion verdict as wild card

One event that could have a significant impact on the election is an anticipated decision on a controversial state abortion law that, according to Kondik of the University of Virginia, is expected from the Supreme Court in early summer. The ruling will decide whether states are free to enact abortion laws that are more restrictive than the Supreme Court’s precedent.

“I think a big issue to look at is abortion — if, in fact, the Supreme Court allows states to excessively restrict abortion or prohibit abortion, which they are able to do now,” he said. “So, if you’re looking for an issue to come to the fore in the 2022 election, this would be the one to watch. Abortion is a very polarizing and important issue in American politics.”

With support for limiting or even eliminating abortion rights centered among Republicans, and most Democrats supporting broader access to abortion services, a decisive decision that moves the needle either way, voters. can induce more voters from one or both parties to vote in greater numbers. ,


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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