By: Lucy Panicacci
The midterms are coming up — the polls open on Nov. 8. With tensions high and issues such as abortion, inflation, and the conflict in Ukraine taking center stage, this year’s midterms are crucial for the future of the United States. All 435 house seats and 35 of the 100 senate seats are up for grabs. Also, 35 states will elect governors.
The main question coming into this year’s midterms is — will Democrats lose their majority in Congress? Tensions are exceptionally high in the Senate, which is currently split evenly — 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats. Each party only needs to flip one seat to get the majority. According to a Washington Post poll from September, President Biden’s current disapproval rate is relatively high at 53 percent. In previous elections, a low approval rating correlates to many seats of the president’s party lost in the House. Due to Biden’s current lack of popularity, Democrats are projected to lose seats.
Determined to keep the majority in the House, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters in September that, “We fully intend to hold the House. And even though there are some among you who belittle my political instincts and the rest, I got us here twice to the majority, and I don’t intend to ‘give it up.’”
Additionally, there are numerous factors voters consider going into the midterms, including inflation, the coronavirus pandemic, and rising crime rates. According to Democrat Doug Sosnik, who worked with the Clinton Administration, the events of these past two years failed many people’s expectations. Sosnik stated, “There was a notion that [with] Biden taking office we were going to come back to a sense of normalcy in the world.”
In the face of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortion is definitely a key issue for this midterm. According to an NPR/PBS News Poll, 58 percent of independent voters are more likely to vote due to the abortion issue. For Democratic candidates, codifying abortion rights is at the forefront of their agenda. Recently, Biden urged voters by stating, “If you give me two more senators in the United States Senate, I promise you, I promise you, we’re going to codify Roe and once again make Roe the law of the land.”
On the other hand, inflation is the top issue for Republicans. In the same NPR News Poll, 40 percent of Republicans regard inflation as their most important issue. The Republican agenda for the House, titled “Commitment to America,” focuses on the economy, individual liberty, safety, and holding the government accountable. In addition, their plan, led by Kevin McCarthy, also addresses gas prices and formula shortages in the United States.
(Sources: CNN, Commitment to America, NPR, The Washington Post)
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