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So Democrats can lose power in two years


History reveals that presidents run into a big problem in the middle of their first term: Congressional elections. The president's party has lost seats in the House of Representatives in almost every midterm election since the 1930s.

By Alex Seitz-Wald - NBC News

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden and the Democratic Congress have just been sworn in, but the countdown to the 2022 midterm elections, when voters will decide if the president has more than two years to move forward with fewer hurdles, now is underway.

Democrats have to defend a narrow majority of 221 to 211 congressmen in the House of Representatives (218 seats required for control) and in the Senate of 50 to 50, where losing even one seat would cost the party control of the camera.

History is not on your side.

The president's party has lost seats in the House of Representatives in almost every midterm election since the 1930s.

They generally suffer heavy losses in their first half term.

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"In 2020, Republicans won 28 of the 29 most competitive districts in criticizing the job elimination policies that Joe Biden has enacted during his first week in office," said Michael McAdams, spokesman for the Republican Congressional National Committee, the arm campaign of the Republican Party of the House of Representatives.

"If House Democrats thought 2020 was bad, they are not the least bit prepared for what the 2022 cycle holds for them," he added.

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The only recent exception to that historic trend was 2002, when the country supported Republican President George W. Bush in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Democrats hope that if Biden is successful in fighting the crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, voters will reward him.

[Accelerate delivery of aid checks and more food stamps: Biden focuses on the economy on his third day in office]

"Organize, organize, organize. This is how we broke history and won two second-round elections in Georgia," the new chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Jaime Harrison, recalled Friday on MSNBC.

It is still early days and there are more questions than answers about the next two years of American politics.

Here are the five biggest:

1. What about Trump?

In his last remarks as president, Donald Trump said he would "come back in some form."

Even after being accused twice and banned from Twitter, Trump remains overwhelmingly popular with Republican voters with only 5% saying they regretted voting for him after the assault on Capitol Hill in the first week of January.

Democrats have done better when they can run against Trump without him on the ballot, such as in the 2018 midterm elections and the Georgia Senate elections.

Now they believe that they will have trouble getting rid of the ex-president's legacy.

"It makes it impossible for them to turn around and recruit the classic Republican suburban country club banker to run for Congress," said Tyler Law, a Democratic clerk who works on House elections.

"Many people will have forgotten his crude comments in a few years.

Americans will not forget the time our Capitol was attacked by domestic terrorists dressed in Trump clothes," he said.

2. What about the Republican Party?

Even if Trump decides to hang out on the golf course, the Republican Party he left behind faces an internal reckoning over his influence and his future.

Trump helped capitalize on the participation of the party's increasingly depleted ranks

(they have won the presidential popular vote only once in 32 years), but without him, some want to double down on


while others want to turn the page.

[Trump wanted to elect as attorney general someone who supported false theory of fraud]

"There will be some pretty competitive, if not brutal, primaries for Senate nominations in places like Georgia, Arizona and others," said Matt Gorman, a Republican strategist who has worked on the House of Representatives elections.

Still, Republicans found themselves in a similar position after Barack Obama's 2008 election and returned to victory in the midterm elections, and Democrats did the same after Trump's 2016 victory.

3. All about the bases?

In the past, it has been difficult for Democrats to get their bases to participate in non-presidential elections, and after four years of almost constant protests, donations and concerns, party voters may be eager for a policy break.

Republicans, meanwhile, face their own challenge in converting their bases without Trump, and that may be more difficult if it fuels the sentiment that the Republicans betrayed him.

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They also face some financial hurdles after large corporations announced they would cut donations due to the Capitol riots, at least for a time, and with the marginalization of some of their biggest backers, like the National Rifle Association.

"Democrats have obviously cultivated their online donor base much better than Republicans, but a lot of donations were out of anger at Trump," explained Jessica Taylor, analyst with the Cook Political Report.

"I'm not sure Republicans make anger-based donations in the same way, because Biden is not divisive in the same way," she said.

4. What about Biden?

Biden's two predecessors entered the White House in full control of Washington and faced near-immediate popular uprisings that culminated in a "beating" in the midterm elections, as Obama memorably put it.

Trump's inauguration was overshadowed by the Women's March a day later.

And Obama, despite starting with astronomical approval ratings, saw the first signs of a conservative backlash at Tea Party rallies held in February 2009, just over a month after he took office.

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Biden, strategists from both parties agree, is less divisive than Obama or Trump.

And conservatives have struggled to turn the president into a man who ignites and infuriates their base, like, for example, Hillary Clinton.

The restrictions due to the pandemic could make it difficult to lift popular protests, but the reaction to the distancing restrictions could also be the fuse for a new movement.

Can Biden curb the pandemic and rebuild the economy as promised?

Will your Administration face the scandals that arise?

They must.

5. How is the map?

States are still redesigning their maps after the census, so we don't yet know what Congressional districts will look like in 2022. Some states with declining populations like New York are expected to lose seats in Congress, while others, like Texas booming, add.

"I think Republicans are well positioned to retake the House of Representatives, but the $ 64,000 question is, 'What will redistricting look like?" Asked Gorman, the Republican strategist.

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Republicans have the upper hand in the states after 2020 turned out to be a disappointing no-vote year for Democrats, but it's not as uneven as it was last time, after 2010.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, the map is ready.

Democrats have to defend Senator Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia, and Mark Kelly, D-Arizona, who just won special elections but must run again for a full six-year term.

They also have senators for re-election in New Hampshire and Nevada, which Biden got only narrowly.

On the Republican side, Pennsylvania senator Pat Toomey is retiring, leaving a vacant seat in a state that Biden held.

Ron Johnson, Senator from Wisconsin, a staunch conservative, is set for re-election in another state from Biden.

And the Republican Party will also have to defend seats in North Carolina and Florida.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2021-01-24

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