US Midterms – the ones to watch (if you can stand it)

Bracing yourself for disappointment seems to be a good approach to the US Midterms.

With the Democrats panicking about the New York state governorship (previously thought safe for their Kathy Hochul), it could be a very bad night for the Democrats.

Public focus has turned increasingly to the economy and crime in recent weeks. That’s not good for the Democrats, although there is still a hope that abortion will help them as an issue.

The non-partisan Cook Political Report says that the Republicans have a “clear edge”:

…House control appears easily within the GOP’s reach — with the biggest remaining mystery the size of that majority.

This cycle’s House landscape is unusually uneven: in blue states, both parties’ internal polling has found Democrats in double-digit Biden seats — including DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-17) and Katie Porter (CA-47) — in tight races defined by crime and inflation. Yet other Democrats in red states continue to hang tough, defying the president’s low approval (in many cases, aided by polarizing GOP opponents).

NBC’s final generic poll puts both parties on 47%. Somewhat at odds with that, they have Biden’s approval rating at 43% – typically a poisonous level for an incumbent President, suggesting a loss of 40-60 House seats for the Democrats. They found most people – 37% – saying that the economy is the most important issue for them, with 81% of them dissatisfied with the state of the nation’s finances. Independents are particularly concerned about the economy – not a good omen for the Democrats. In terms of voter enthusiasm, there has been a recent slight uptick in Democratic voter keeness. NBC say 73% of the each of the two parties’ supporters saying they are very enthusiastic about voting.

Five Thirty Eight gives a list of 25 House seats to watch, that will give an indicator of how things are going on Election Night.

In the Senate it is very close with five key races to watch – one of which (Georgia) may not be decided this week: Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arizona and New Hampshire.

“It’s very close” is an expression you will hear a lot in the next few days with respect to the US Midterms. Sir Alex Ferguson’s expression, about noisy posteriors, seems apposite.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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8 Comments

  • Biden has been a disappointment. In a divided country he has not reached out “across the aisle”, which is something he promised. Whether on the stimulus bill or the so called culture wars (immigration, beta blockers, Dobbs) he’s pandered to his party’s far left. The fiasco in Afghanistan was a stain on the West (wrong to “go in”, wrong to abandon). I certainly don’t relish the return of Trump but the Democrats should have seen this coming. They’ll certainly need someone different (Buttigieg?) to lead the party in 2024. Less is more!

  • David Warren 8th Nov '22 - 10:47am

    Whatever the results Biden needs to announce that he will not run for a second term and allow the Democrats to begin the process of selecting a new candidate for 2024.

    If the GOP win control of congress then they will almost certainly disgrace themselves with their partisan shenaniggans allowing a fresh Democrat face the opportunity to have a fighting chance of the retaining the White House for their party.

  • Barry Lofty 8th Nov '22 - 10:48am

    Mr Biden may not be one of the greatest Presidents in American history but the potential alternative would be even worse as would be the return of a former disgraced Prime Minister in our country?

  • The problem the Democrats have is back to “the devil has all the best tunes”. The Trumpicans have lots of good rabble-rousing soundbites, that tend to chime with people’s fears and emotions. It’s a lesson we need to digest here so that come the general election people really want to see the back of the Conservatives.

  • Martin Gray 8th Nov '22 - 11:52am

    @Russell…
    I don’t think the Democrats have ever had a ‘ far left ‘…
    Once Trump signed the withdrawal agreement as regards Afghanistan – it was all over …The Afghan national army gave repeated assurances of their capability to hold the major cities – they capitulated , many without a fight .. Hardly Bidens fault …
    Pandering to ID politics is a huge turn off to many voters ..
    The progressive left seems determined to sacrifice itself on that hill…

  • Mark Smulian 8th Nov '22 - 12:24pm

    Liberal International British Group has an online forum to which all are welcome on 14 November to discuss the implications of the midterms results: https://libg.co.uk/en/event/detail/2022-11-14/the-us-midterm-elections-what-the-results-mean-for-the-future-of-american-politics

  • Roland – That’s why we have to keep hammering away at the grim failures of the Conservative government as a whole and not get distracted by the scandalous activities of individual ministers. We don’t want people just thinking there must be a limit to the number of rotten apples in the barrel!

  • David Evans 8th Nov '22 - 3:18pm

    We all know that political parties tend to get their fair share of their limited issue ideologues attaching themselves to whatever group they see as most amenable to promoting their world view. Whether it be Jacob Rees Mogg and the ERG with everything European; Humza Yousaf in the SNP and rampant racism throughout Scotland; almost anyone in Liverpool Labour and Financial Probity or Liz Truss and Liberal Democracy. The difference being that some parties have the ability to see through the shallowness of some ideas before they take root.

    The problem America faces is that both the Democrats and the Republicans have allowed their extremists to take root and build up their influence so that most voters see the parties only in terms of those extremes.

    Hence most of middle America sees its choice as between Trumpian, They stole the Election, Gun toting, Conspiracy Theorist, Isolationist, MAGA Republicans against hectoring, Defund the Police, White shaming, Woke, Gender Warrior, identity politican Democrats.

    The vast majority of middle America do not support any of those five causes on their side, but they are concerned about those of the other side. So they hold their noses and latch onto the one word they do associate with – Republican or Democrat and the extremes get stronger.

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