The modern history of mid-term elections doesn’t give the Democrat much hope of retaining their narrow majorities in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House. Since 1946, the party holding the White House has lost an average of 26 seats in the House, and an average of four seats in the Senate. The Democrats were routed in the mid-term elections in 1994, 2010 and 2014.
The only three exceptions to this rule occurred in 1934, 1998 and 2002. In the cases of 1934 and 2002, the incumbent president was very popular and the public perception was that the country was in a crisis and it wasn’t a good time to change horses in the middle of the stream. In 1998, the GOP lost Congressional seats because they had overreached and demonstrated that they weren’t fit to govern. The D.C. Republicans’ multiple government shutdowns and the Clinton impeachment alarmed voters outside the GOP base.
Those exceptions to the historical pattern currently exist. The U.S. is recovering from a severe crisis that was badly botched by Trump and the D.C. Republicans are currently being extreme in their efforts to sabotage the nation’s recovery.
Like 1934, the U.S. is coming back strong. There were 195,000 corona virus cases on January 20. Now we’re down to 35,000 cases per day. When Biden took office, daily vaccinations were 900,000. Under Biden, we peaked at 3 million vaccinations per day and now we’re vaccinating 2 million per day. This was no accident or serendipity. Trump didn’t have a plan for distributing the vaccines and the American Rescue Plan ramped up both the production and distribution of vaccines.
In the three months before Biden took office, the country was creating roughly 60,000 jobs a month — but now it’s creating around 500,000 jobs a month. The creation of 1.5 million jobs in three months is a record.
Don Bacon, Jeff Fortenberry and the D.C. Republicans have voted against all of this progress. Sen. Mitch McConnell has declared that 100% of his focus is on stopping the Biden administration, which was also his stated goal regarding the Obama administration.
The American people have caught on to the GOP’s extremism and obstruction. Currently, President Biden enjoys a 63% approval rating and 71% of Americans approve his handling of the pandemic. At the same time, the American people want the D.C. Republicans to cooperate with Biden. According to a new Vox/Data For Progress poll: “68 percent of all people, including 43 percent of Republicans, said they think it’s more important for GOP members of Congress to find ways to work with Biden rather than refusing to compromise.”
An ABC News/Ipsos poll from early May made similar findings on the GOP’s hyper-partisan obstruction and sabotage: “A slim majority of Americans (51%) in the new survey think Biden is compromising about the right amount with congressional Republican leaders on the most pressing issues. In addition, Nearly 4 in 10 Americans (39%) think Biden is doing too little [to compromise], and only 9% say he is compromising too much. However, two-thirds think Republican leaders in Congress are doing too little to compromise and only 22 percent think they are doing the right amount.”
This combination of significant progress coming out of a deep crisis, combined with Republican extremism and sabotage, could provide a big boost to the Democrats in 2022 elections.
As Democrats, we need to inform the voters about the consequences of a GOP victory in 2022. If the Republicans were to regain control of one or more houses of Congress, they would shutdown the government and default on the national debt in an attempt to force cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA. The Senate Republicans are already talking about filibustering a bill to raise the debt ceiling later this year.
The biggest threat posed by a Republican Congress is that a GOP majority would steal the presidential election in 2024. As we know, the Congress must certify the winner of the presidential election.
Until 2020, it was largely a ceremonial exercise. Unfortunately, 147 GOP members of Congress violated their duty under the Constitution and refused to certify Biden’s big win. Their illegal power grab only failed because the Democrats controlled the House. If the GOP had controlled both houses in 2020, they would have given Trump an undeserved second term.
The 2022 election cycle will be here before you know it. The 2022 elections for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House are now about the continuation of democracy itself. Senator Brian Schatz tweet. If the GOP regains control of the Congress, they will vote to steal the presidential election in 2024 from Joe Biden.
We have our work cut for us in 2022. Let’s get it done! Let’s leave it all out on the field! We can do this!