US 2022 midterm elections: “Red Tide” fails to emerge

  In the 2022 mid-term elections in the United States, the Democratic Party retained its dominance in the Senate with a very small margin, and the Republican Party won the House of Representatives election as scheduled. didn’t show up. This is the first midterm election held in the United States after the redistricting of congressional districts in 2020 and the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, and it is also one of the most competitive in recent decades. As a comprehensive referendum on the two years of the Biden administration and the “outpost” of the 2024 presidential election, this midterm election will have a major impact on the Biden administration’s ruling policies and the future political situation of the United States in the next two years.
Breaking the “iron law” of American electoral politics

  In the history of midterm elections in the United States, the President’s Party (the party in charge of the White House) will lose an average of more than 25 seats in the House of Representatives in the first midterm election in power, and the President’s party has an average of 186 seats in the House of Representatives. An “iron law”. Since 1922, there have been only three times (1934, 1962, and 2002) when the President’s party has gained or kept a net Senate seat and lost fewer than 10 House seats in first-term midterm elections. However, the results of the midterm elections in 2022 are somewhat unexpected.
  This mid-term election re-elected all 435 members of the House of Representatives, 36 senators and 36 governors. Before the election, the Democrats controlled the House of Representatives with a narrow majority of 218 to 212, and the Republicans only needed to win a net of 6 seats to regain control; votes, which means that as long as the Republicans gain a net seat, they can regain the dominance of the Senate; in the gubernatorial election, a total of 36 seats were re-elected, 27 of which were occupied by the Republicans and 23 by the Democrats before the re-election. Pre-election polls and exit polls show that as many as 70% of voters are “dissatisfied” and “angry” with the direction the country is heading. Deng’s approval rating has remained low at around 40%. The election landscape is generally in favor of the Republican Party.
  According to the above-mentioned “iron law”, coupled with the fact that the election environment is unfavorable to the Biden administration, it is generally expected that the Democratic Party will lose about 40 to 45 seats in the House of Representatives. The Democrats lost more than 50 seats in the House of Representatives and at least 5 seats in the Senate when the first two Democratic presidents, Clinton (1994) and Obama (2010), had the same low popular approval ratings as Biden, Lost five governorships.
  But the results of this midterm election were unexpected. The House of Representatives election was an unprecedented stalemate. In the end, the Democrats lost far fewer seats than the average in previous mid-term elections, and the Republicans only narrowly won. As of November 22, Republicans outnumber Democrats in the House of Representatives 219 to 209. In the Senate race, the race was also unprecedentedly close in key states, with Democrats securing early Senate dominance 50 to 49, even as Republicans won the Dec. 6 Senate runoff in Georgia , is irrelevant to the overall situation. In the gubernatorial election, the Democrats gained a net governorship of 1 governorship (25 to 24), the second time since 1934 that a presidential party has gained a net governorship in a midterm election (previously only in the 1986 midterm election , the President’s party gained a net governorship of 1). While Republicans still hold more governorships and statehouse seats than Democrats after the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats took back both houses of state legislatures in Michigan and Maryland, the state Senate in Minnesota and the governorship in Massachusetts from Republicans , allowing the Democrats to take full control of the above four states from the governor to the state legislature. All this shows that the “red tide” expected by the Republican Party to win a comprehensive victory has not happened.
A “Double Negative Election” Under Trump’s Influence

  How to explain the phenomenon of the 2022 US midterm elections? In this regard, the senior editor of the American “Atlantic Monthly”, Ronald Brownstein, summed it up with “double negative elections”. The so-called “double-negative election” refers to the fact that most voters hold negative views on both parties and their leaders. In this case, voters will choose the side whose personal character is relatively reasonable or whose issues are less extreme. . In this election, although the images of candidates of both parties are relatively negative among voters, compared with Republican candidates, most voters, including some voters who do not support Biden, are more inclined to vote for Democratic candidates. ticket. Exit polls show that 40% of voters only have a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, 40% only have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party, and 11% have no favorable opinion of either party. In terms of issues, 38% only think that the Democratic Party is too extreme, and only 39% think that the Republican Party is too extreme. About 13% of voters think that both parties are too extreme, and the rest of the voters think that both parties are not extreme. While a majority of voters disapprove of the policies of the Biden administration and Democrats, many more voters disapprove of the policies of congressional Republicans and Trump. This has caused the Democrats to maintain their dominance in the Senate even though Biden’s support rate is sluggish, and has reduced the loss of seats in the House of Representatives, especially in some highly contested swing states. For example, in the Arizona Senate election, Democratic Senate candidate Mark Carey narrowly defeated Trump-backed Republican candidate Blake Master; in the New Hampshire Senate election, Democratic incumbent Senator Magee Hassan won nearly all of the votes of Biden voters and a fifth of non-Biden voters; in Pennsylvania gubernatorial race, elected Democratic candidate Josh Shapiro picked up 25% of the state Votes that do not support Biden voters.

The Republican Party won control of the House of Representatives in the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, and McCarthy will also likely serve as the next speaker of the House of Representatives. The picture shows on November 9, 2022, McCarthy, the Republican leader of the US House of Representatives, delivered a speech.

  Although Trump has stepped down, his influence in the Republican Party has not diminished. It can be said that this midterm election has also become an election about Trump without Trump to a certain extent. Compared with Biden, there are more voters who dislike Trump, which also caused almost all “Trump allies” and “denies of the 2020 presidential election” to lose in the key battleground states that determine the ownership of the Senate.
  From the perspective of campaign strategy, the Democratic Party manipulated the issue of abortion and used the “Roe Tide” (on June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court made a formal ruling to overturn the “Roe v. Wade case” and cancel the constitutional law for nearly half a century Abortion rights, and leaving the question of abortion legality to the states themselves) to fight back or defuse the “red tide” is a big reason why Democrats were able to retain control of the Senate and reduce the loss of seats in the House of Representatives. In this election, the Republican Party took advantage of voters’ general dissatisfaction with the US economy to try to turn this midterm election into a referendum on the Biden administration; the Democratic Party cleverly used the US Supreme Court to overturn the “Roe v. Wade” case. The ruling hedges against a Republican strategy to turn the election into a referendum on abortion, which has successfully overtaken violent crime as one of voters’ top issues. In some blue states (Democratic-dominated states) and purple states (swing states), such as New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico and California, voters who support abortion rights overwhelmingly voted for the Democratic gubernatorial candidate ticket.

  From the perspective of voters, the Democratic Party has successfully defended its base while winning the votes of many independent voters, which is one of the reasons why the “red tide” did not appear. Over the past ten years, with the political polarization of the two parties, elections in the United States have become more and more like elections in parliamentary countries, that is, voters of their own party only vote for candidates of their own party, and more and more people vote for split votes. few. In recent elections, young people, minorities such as African Americans, college-educated people, urban and non-religious secular people, and Democratic-leaning women in various voter groups have formed the basis of the Democratic coalition of voters. In this midterm election, self-proclaimed Republican voters accounted for 36% of the total voters, Democrats accounted for 33%, and independent voters accounted for 31%. By increasing contact with the party’s base voter groups and focusing on the issues that these voter groups care about, the Democratic Party has kept the basic votes from being lost. Despite the negative view of the U.S. economy by the majority of Democratic voter groups, the Democratic Party still has enough support from these key voter groups. In a situation where the two parties are evenly matched with voters and the candidates are in a stalemate, the Democratic Party has successfully won the votes of some independent voters, which is crucial in determining the election result. Exit polls show that even though 60% of independent voters dislike Biden, Democrats have won a majority of independent voters, especially in key blue and purple state gubernatorial races.

On November 8, 2022, Florida Republican Governor DeSantis won the mid-term election and will be re-elected as Florida Governor.
Making it harder for Trump to win the White House in 2024

  The 2022 mid-term election will have an important impact on Biden’s ruling policies in the second half of his term and the direction of American politics.
  First of all, from the perspective of government-congress relations, the split government formed by the Republicans controlling the House of Representatives has broken the original political structure in which the Democrats control both the White House and both houses of Congress. This will constrain Biden’s policy agenda in the next two years of his term. . Since Biden took office, under the pressure of the new crown epidemic and the progressive faction in the party, he has implemented a huge and progressive policy agenda, including passing a series of new crown epidemic relief bills and bipartisan infrastructure package bills. In the current situation of highly polarized bipartisan politics, most of the bills proposed by the Biden administration were passed without a single Republican vote. Republican control of the House of Representatives means that the Biden administration is no longer likely to introduce large, progressive bills. Republicans have vowed to repeal the Biden administration’s signature legislation, the Inflation Reduction Act. Other bills on the Biden administration’s legislative agenda, such as legislation enacting nationwide abortion rights and a student loan forgiveness program, will also be blocked by Republicans after they take control of the House of Representatives, making it difficult to move forward. This will inevitably intensify the conflict between the two parties around key legislation, forcing the Biden administration to change its legislative strategy and seek bipartisan cooperation on key policy issues.
  Second, from the perspective of congressional politics, the “split Congress” in which the Republicans control the House of Representatives and the Democrats dominate the Senate will exacerbate the differences between the two parties in Congress on key policy issues, and legislative deadlock is inevitable. The Republican Party controls the House of Representatives, which means that the Republican Party has the power to appoint the chairmen of various committees and set the agenda of the House of Representatives, thus controlling the legislative initiative. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is expected to focus on reducing inflation and crime rates and strengthening border security. At the same time, it will also exercise oversight powers, investigate Biden’s government and family members, and even impeach Biden himself. However, since the Senate is controlled by the Democratic Party, it is difficult for the legislation proposed by the Republican Party to be passed in the Senate, and a legislative deadlock is inevitable.
  Finally, this midterm election will also have a certain impact on the 2024 presidential election. The battleground states that will determine the outcome of this Senate election are also the battleground states that will determine the outcome of the 2000 general election. When the strength of voters in the two parties is roughly equal and the political geographical distribution of the two parties has not changed much, the Republican Party has lost two elections in these states. Rising Republican star DeSantis won the Florida gubernatorial election by a landslide and became a popular candidate in the 2024 Republican presidential election. It will be more difficult for Trump to win the White House in 2024.