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Biden regains steam three months after very complicated legislative elections for the Democrats

2022-08-09T10:53:50.371Z

The approval of the plan against inflation, the good unemployment data, the yes to abortion in Kansas and the death of the leader of Al Qaeda offer the president of the United States his best streak since he came to the White House and give him back hope before the november elections



All is not lost.

Pessimism had settled on the Democratic side before the legislative elections on November 8.

The Republican story of a country of skyrocketing prices, uncontrolled immigration and rampant crime has settled in the electorate;

Joe Biden's popularity had plummeted and forecasts pointed – still do – to a clear defeat for his party.

The president of the United States, however, has chained a string of successes in recent weeks that has restored hope to his people.

Comedian Bill Maher made a joke on his show: "Listen to this, Biden has caught covid again and has had the best week of his presidency."

On Monday, the United States announced that it had successfully completed a drone operation to kill al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul.

On Tuesday, Kansas rejected in a referendum an amendment to its state constitution that would have allowed abortion to be prohibited.

On Wednesday, the Senate approved a law to help war veterans.

On Thursday, Biden secured swing vote support for his Inflation Reduction bill, and the Senate overwhelmingly approved expanding NATO to include Sweden and Finland.

On Friday, the unemployment rate fell to 3.5% and equaled its minimum in the last half century, with a record employment figure, above the pre-pandemic level.

The latter is by far the victory that Biden values ​​the most.

The White House has released dozens of statements this week in defense of a law that raises taxes on large companies, lowers the cost of some medicines for part of the population and dedicates an unprecedented package of incentives to the energy transition to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Asked about the effect that he may have on the elections, Biden said this Monday before traveling to Kentucky to visit the area that has suffered recent flooding: “I hope it helps?

Yes i wait.

It will help immediately."

Although it contains far-reaching measures in various matters, the Inflation Reduction Law will not serve to reduce inflation.

Its name is political, not technical, and it allows the Democrats a story with which to face the campaign.

In June and July, gasoline set record prices, Biden's law seemed dead, Supreme Court rulings imposed their conservative agenda, the word recession loomed on the horizon and Biden's popularity fell to the lowest levels in memory for a president at this point in his term.

In his own party, the debate was opening on whether to look for an alternative candidate for 2024. Democrat morale was rock bottom.

All this does not change overnight, but the Democrats now have a message to sell in the elections in three months, in which a third of the 100 senators are renewed (the term is six years) and the entire House of Representatives, for two years.

The precedents, against the democrats

Precedents play against the Democrats.

Historically, the president's party loses seats in midterm elections.

This has been the case since direct midterm elections have existed, and this has happened except in 1934 (Franklin D. Roosevelt), 1998 (Bill Clinton) and 2002 (George W. Bush).

In the Senate there are some other exceptions, but not too many: in the last century only Roosevelt (1934), John F. Kennedy (1962), Richard Nixon (1970), George W. Bush (2002) and Donald Trump managed to improve their position. (2018).

The Senate is now split in half and it is the vice president, Kamala Harris, who breaks the tie when the two parties vote in the opposite direction.

By losing a single seat, the Democrats are out of control.

They have the advantage that most of the senators who have to renew are now Republicans and they have their greatest hopes in two states in which Biden won Trump in 2020 and in which two Republican senators are finishing their term: Wisconsin and, above all, Pennsylvania.

The Republicans, for their part, believe they can take away from the Democrats Nevada, Arizona and Georgia, mainly.

In most other states, the die is almost cast.

In the Lower House, the 435 representatives are renewed, although in practice there are only 40 or 50 seats that are truly disputed.

The fault lies with

gerrymandering,

the electoral engineering that allows the rulers of each state to redraw the districts to maximize the guaranteed representatives, barring a debacle, of course.

But the Democratic majority is so precarious (it has 220 seats and the majority is 218) that defeat is almost certain.

The weight of the economy

The economy seems to be the dominant issue in the elections.

Filling gasoline, shopping, paying electricity, traveling or going out to dinner is now much more expensive than a year ago.

Rate hikes make mortgages more expensive.

Consumer confidence, despite the high level of employment, is at a minimum.

Perhaps inflation will loosen a bit in these three months (July data will be published this Wednesday), but it will not be enough.

In addition, experts foresee a deterioration in employment.

“My forecast is that around election day we will be in a recession, or if technically we are not in a recession, it will feel like a recession,” Professor James Hughes, of Rutgers University (New York), recently stated in a talk with journalists. Sweater),

Ross Baker, professor of Political Science at the same university, stressed, however, that other factors may have an unforeseen weight in the legislative elections, in particular the mobilization for the latest Supreme Court rulings: "What is the type of alchemy needed between the economy and these Supreme Court decisions and how they will affect the midterm elections is an open question.”

Democrats are confident of using abortion as an electoral weapon, even more so after the Kansas referendum.

The extent of Trump's involvement in the campaign and the profile of some of the candidates may also play a role.

“Many Republicans are very nervous about the possibility that former President Trump will announce his 2024 candidacy before November 8 and be a factor in the elections again,” Baker notes.

As for the candidates, the Democrats are confident that the more extreme profile of some of those sponsored by Trump will favor them.

In fact, in some constituencies, Democrats have barely covertly supported the most Trump-like candidates in the Republican primaries, considering them easier rivals to beat.

There are a multitude of governors and other local positions that are at stake and for whom this injection of Democratic morale could be decisive.

Even if the bellows recovered by Biden does not serve to retain Congress, the approval of his star law also has another reading.

Had he not carried it forward now, he would no longer have been able to deal with a Republican Congress that could turn the second half of his term into political hell.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-08-09

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