The “midterm elections” were until recently a tradition by which the opposition had a great opportunity to complicate the second part of the mandate Whoever was in the White House. Since the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 orchestrated by then President Donald Trump to ignore the results of the presidential elections, they have become something else. The state of American democracy is at stake.
These legislative elections on November 8 are going to determine the possibility that Joe Biden can aspire to reelection despite his 80 years and some senile features or pass the torch to who could be the first black woman to reach the presidency of the country, Kamala Harris. Also if the billionaire Trump can return to the Oval Office despite having instigated a coup or if, even, ends up blessing a tough one like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. A little further down, it will determine whether the anti-politics of Trumpism end up taking root in the most significant states and whether or not constitutional rights such as abortion and open doors to immigration are maintained.
In the Congress hall, without a doubt, an extreme change can take place depending on who remains with the majorities, much more than in any other similar process of the last decades. The Democrats had parliamentary control for these two years with a five-seat majority in the House and a tie broken by Vice President Harris in the Senate. That is why Biden had a free hand to focus on the Ukraine war and try to rein in a runaway economy. And above all, the investigative committees were focused almost exclusively on the January 6 riots in that same room.
If the Republicans manage to take control of one or both chambers of Congress – all possibilities are still open in that regard -, the focus will shift from Trumpism to, for example, the business dealings of Biden’s son, Hunter, with Chinathe immigration policies of the Democratic administration, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.
The underlying battle will be that of abortion. In June, the Supreme Court struck down the constitutionally protected right to abortion. Both parties have already proposed new federal legislation in this regard; Democrats want to go back to the famous Roe v. Wade that gave women the right to decide on their body. Republicans want to ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy nationwidea rule that would replace existing protections in states governed by Democrats, such as California, Illinois and New York.
The right to abortion will also be reflected in the different stateswhere the outcome of gubernatorial and legislative elections in traditional political battlegrounds like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and Michigan could directly determine the legality of the procedure in those states.
Paradoxically, the decision of the Supreme Court dominated by ultra-conservative judges revived the Democratic base and took them to the streets. Hand in hand with women, social actors were mobilized who until then had remained on the sidelines and considered Biden too moderate. Many Democratic candidate campaigns in states with a Republican majority they were bolstered nationally with unpublished advertising and funding.
And it is that, as we already know, The United States is split along the same lines as the rest of the world.. The Republican party is taken over by the trumpists who dragged it to extreme positions. Even unconstitutional. And that makes a world of difference in legislative positions. If Republicans prevail, immigration, religious rights and a crackdown on minorities and crime are expected to be top priorities. For Democrats, the environment, health care, voting rights and gun control will remain top priorities.
Joe Biden had a few first months in office with very low approval numbers. In social networks, the nickname “Sleepy Joe” became popular.. He managed to reverse it by passing crucial legislation on climate change, gun control, infrastructure investment and child poverty, despite their narrow majorities in Congress. Triumphs that rescued his presidency and marked his legacy.
The recession brought by the pandemic and inflation also hit management hard. Although there are signs of recovery or at least a less painful fall. The US economy is facing a sharp – and intentional – slowdown as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to cool demand and curb rising prices, the kind of pullback that would normally lead to markedly higher unemployment. But Treasury Department officials still they hope to achieve a soft landing in which growth moderates without causing widespread job losses. Some speculate that today’s understaffing problems in almost every industry will help them achieve this, since companies are trying harder than in the past to weather a downturn without cutting staff.
“Companies that experienced unprecedented challenges in restoring or expanding their workforces following the pandemic may be more inclined to make greater efforts to retain their employees than they normally would when faced with a slowdown in economic activity,” explained Lael Brainard, Fed vice chairman, in a speech last week. “This may mean that the slowdown in aggregate demand will cause a smaller increase in unemployment than we have seen in previous recessions”.
For now, the labor market remains strong. businessmen added 263,000 workers in September, less than in recent months but more than was normal before the pandemic. Unemployment is at 3.5%, matching a 50-year low, and median hourly earnings rose at a solid 5% pace compared to a year earlier. Inflation remains high, above 8% per year.
Analysts in Washington believe that this tailwind is going to help the democrats. we already know that “It’s the economy, stupid”, as imposed by the strategist James Carville in Bill Clinton’s election campaign in 1992. A year before the election, George Bush Sr. had approval levels above 80%. But the economy was going through a recession and Carville took advantage of it and since then there hasn’t been a self-respecting political marketer who doesn’t always keep her in mind. It is the crudest synthesis of the incidence of factors such as growth, inflation or employment at the time of voting. And this time will not be the exception.
While, Trump continues to play his game. Adhering to the maxim of doing nothing that is considered moderate and democratic, instead of stepping aside and abandoning partisan politics as the vast majority of his predecessors did in the last 200 years, is being the main figure of all the republican campaigns, even from some candidates who do not want to appear next to him. His ambition is to return to the presidency in 2024.
The billionaire managed to push several candidates for the Senate, such as former football player Herschel Walker in Georgia, media doctor Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and populist author JD Vance in Ohio, over more traditional Republican politicians and despite the objections from party leaders. If these candidates win, it could be a huge boost for the populist leader. But if they do not succeed, the old wolves of the Grand Old Party (GOP) will take their toll on him and some of his students and rivals such as Governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbot of Texas.
Trump also played hard for the candidates who after the 2020 elections did the impossible to ignore the result of the election in their states.. He supports and gave money to people like secretary of state nominees Mark Finchem in Arizona and Jim Marchant in Nevada and gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania, who are running for office where they will have at least some control over the electoral systems of their states ahead of the 2024 presidential contest.
In this way, the November of the “midterms”, which in general meant just a few tears, political tantrums and many changes in the rental contracts of the houses in the outskirts of Washington of the families of the legislators who are leaving and those who they arrive, this year became a pivotal event in determining America’s future which, as we all know, marks the present and the future of many other countries.