The US midterm elections in November: The impetus for Democrats

Status: 08/26/2022 07:51 AM

In about ten weeks, the new Congress and the United States Senate will be re-elected. After a drop in the poll, US President Biden and his Democrats could look at the midterms with more optimism.

Written by Claudia Sarr, ARD Studio Washington

“Only 76 days until the congressional elections,” Joe Biden shouted at a campaign event in Maryland Thursday night. Just a few weeks ago, the US president was more unpopular than ever. The allegations were too old, too shabby, and not dynamic enough. But his approval rates are increasing: At around 41 percent, they are higher than they have been since the beginning of June.

Claudia Sarri
ARD-Studio Washington

“We are making progress. Gasoline prices have fallen and will continue to fall. I have just signed the historic ‘Reducing Inflation Act’,” the 79-year-old confidently asserts.

Indeed, Biden and his Democrats are doing just fine right now — thanks to slowing inflation, low gas prices and last but not least that Social and Climate Package, which they were then able to conclude. Confidence is already spreading among Democrats that they can win – at least in part – the midterm elections.

Abortion laws as a campaign issue

The one pound they want to campaign for is the abortion issue. New York Congressman Pat Ryan told PBS he won the primaries on this exact issue: “I think that played a big role. I think the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion rights hit one of the pillars of democracy. That was a wake-up call that fundamental rights and liberties are now on The touchstone. People say this isn’t America.”

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Even in traditionally conservative Kansas, voters recently voted not to repeal abortion rights.

Republican candidates lag behind in opinion polls

Democrats’ hope for good performance in so-called midterm systems is fueling relatively weak Republican candidates. In states like Ohio, Georgia and Arizona, candidates backed by former President Donald Trump have won primaries for a Senate seat. But in the polls, they often lag behind their Democratic rivals.

In Pennsylvania, for example, Democrat John Fetterman currently has better chances of getting a Senate seat than Trump’s candidate Mehmet Oz, and Republicans are also aware of their candidates’ inferiority. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, recently quelled his party’s hopes of winning a Republican majority in the Senate:

I think the House is more likely to fall than the Senate. Senate elections are only different, they are national. It depends on the quality of the candidates.

Democrats are expected to lose control of the House of Representatives. But if they could maintain their majority in the Senate, it would be at least a notable partial success. However, Biden will not be able to move forward with most of his ambitious plans – the president needs a majority in both houses for this.

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