An expected loss for Biden’s party in the upcoming congressional elections… Why?
Washington- In a tradition, the US president’s party loses a lot of seats in the midterm elections for Congress, and it seems that President Joe Biden will not depart from this tradition in the upcoming elections in November 2022.
Republicans lost 41 seats under former President Donald Trump in the 2018 elections in favor of Democrats, and the scenario was repeated before that under Barack Obama, whose Democratic party lost 63 seats in the House of Representatives, and similarly in the 2010 elections.
In the coming months, attention in Washington will focus on whether President Joe Biden can avoid the midterm losses that have baffled so many of his predecessors, or whether his party is facing an unavoidable loss, especially with the narrow gap between the two parties in the House and Senate.
The first two weeks of 2022 witnessed several painful blows for Biden and his party; On the one hand, the Supreme Constitutional Court rejected his presidential order to require workers in the federal government, companies with more than 100 employees, and the health care sector to receive the vaccine.
In the spring, the United States is expected to reach tragic levels of infections and deaths from the Corona virus. This depends on how quickly the Omicron mutant spreads among the vulnerable and unvaccinated across the country, especially with Biden’s failure to convince them to receive the vaccine.
Biden also received a painful blow at the hands of Democratic Senator Kirstin Sinema from Arizona, who hammered a nail in the coffin of Democrats’ hopes to amend Senate rules by announcing her rejection of any moves aimed at modifying Senate procedures in order to pass the legislation as Biden desires.
Cinema has expressed its support for the reform of the voting system introduced by the Democratic Party, while opposing the change of Senate rules and respect for minority views.
Neither the White House nor the Democrats can move the legislation in the Senate without all the votes of the 50 Democrats, after Biden pledged to change the Senate’s procedural rules to pass the legislation.
Blocking the passage of President Biden’s infrastructure agenda and having to amend it, and then blocking “rebuild for better” legislation, dented the president’s popularity, with Democratic Senator John Minchin of West Virginia vowing not to vote in favor of the resolution.
These cases reflect growing doubts about Biden’s abilities to lead and unite Democrats in light of the continuing infighting among his party’s currents, especially between progressive members and the traditional majority.
Will the president’s popularity continue to decline?
An opinion poll conducted by CNBC during the second week of last month on a sample of 800 American voters showed that only 37% of them were satisfied with Biden’s performance, while 56% rejected his performance, and 7% of them could not determine their position.
This is the second worst percentage obtained by an American president at the end of his first year in office, and this year has witnessed a decline in support for him from 57 percent when he began his rule on January 20, 2021, to drop by a full 20 points in less than a year.
Affecting Biden’s popularity is the failure to confront the Covid-19 virus, especially with the spread of infections with the Omicron mutated and reaching more than one million infections per day, in addition to raising the volume of government spending in record forms, which affected the high inflation rate to reach 7% compared to a year ago, which is the highest level. In nearly 40 years.
The price hike caused suffering to millions of Americans, and supported the Republican narrative that neither Democrats nor Biden’s leadership in the economy could be trusted, and that the stimulus package provided by this administration further worsened the economic situation.
The intense conflict between the currents of the Democratic Party contributed to paralyzing Biden’s agenda to improve the American infrastructure, and his plans for social reforms and to confront climate change.
The president was unable to bridge the rift between the progressive movement in the Democratic Party, represented by a number of deputies headed by Alexandria Octavio Cortez on the one hand; On the other hand, the party’s traditional current led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Republican unity, on the other hand
And unlike Democrats, Republicans have strong party unity behind former President Donald Trump. And Republicans successfully blocked multiple attempts to pass voting rights reform bills last year, prompting Biden to threaten changes to the “disruption rule” that requires a 60-vote majority of 100 senators to pass most legislation, before Senator Cinema wipes out his fortunes.
On the other hand, the victory of Republican candidate Glen Yangkin for the post of governor of Virginia at the expense of Democrat Terry McAuliffe last November represented a strong blow to the Democrats, and perhaps a prelude to what is to come.
The future of bipartisan balance
On November 8, 2022, congressional elections will be held for all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and for 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate, including Democratic candidates in swing districts such as Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada.
Republicans only need to win six additional seats in the House of Representatives and one additional seat in the Senate to gain a majority.
At this point, Republicans are likely to take control of both houses of Congress (the Senate and the House of Representatives) next November, and Biden’s agenda is expected to paralyze during his third and fourth years in office.
This leaves President Biden with a small window of time to pass any meaningful laws in 2022, including the “Build Back Better” plan; Which is an essential part of his agenda that may strengthen the determination of the Democrats before the 2022 elections.
However, the loss may play a role in facilitating the task of Trump, who does not hide his willingness to fight the next presidential election battle in order to return to the White House in 2024.