To the polls: preview of 2022 midterms

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Soraia

The midterms can play a huge role in the second half of Biden’s presidency.

The Presidential election is the most popular and talked about election in all of the United States. Though he serves as the Commander in Chief, the President is not the sole leader of our country. Congress, the largest and most powerful branch of government containing both the House of Representatives and the Senate, has elections every other year. As the branch that makes laws, congress is the most influential on our daily lives. With the way the Biden Administration has played out on the national stage, Americans can’t help but wonder how the composition of Congress will change with the November Midterm Election.

Underwhelming presidency?

The House of Representatives and the Senate are currently under the control of the Democratic Party. During the 2020 election, Democrats fought hard to take back control of the Senate and maintain control of the house. Major wins, such as that of the Georgia runoffs, helped flip congressional control in favor of the liberals. 

But, after a full year of the Biden Administration, moderate Democrats and Conservatives alike are disappointed with how the year has unfolded. High inflation rates and gas prices have left Americans struggling to afford basic necessities and maintain their pre-pandemic lifestyles. 

“The economy and covid will be the most important factor for the average Americans, as it affects their daily lives,” says Margaret Huai (‘22).

Biden has made progress on limiting the effects of the pandemic on Americans. His administration pushed out vaccines formulated during the Trump Presidency and through executive orders, such as EO 14043, which mandated vaccines for all federal employees. It is likely, however, that people are so fed up with these regulations, that they will vote in favor of the Republicans, who generally favor fewer government restrictions. 

“During the 2022 midterms, we will likely see a shift in favor of the Republican Party, this is mostly because in recent elections, US voters want deviations from the norm since the Democrats hold control,” says Huai

With the conflict of Ukraine still in its very early stages, this leaves the Democrats even more vulnerable. The situation is incredibly volatile. With the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in August 2021, which many Americans regard as a failure to our international duties, a misstep in Ukraine could be even more detrimental to the Democratic Party.

“If the issues in Ukraine do not work out in a favorable way, the Democrats could have an even harder time staying in power.” says Jerry Zhan (‘22)

The Census says it all

Talk is cheap, voting is free. Take it to the polls.

— Author Nanette Avery.

Every ten years, the census is taken. This counts the number of Americans living in each state and helps determine where new House Districts are delegated. States like California, which did not grow at the average rate,  lost a district, while states like Oregon exceeded the average growth rate, and gained a district. This has affected some representative districts.

“Because of the new districts and the impact of partisan gerrymandering, the Democrats are at an even bigger disadvantage. States like Texas, where Republicans are in power, will draw districts to favor their party. This is bad for the Democrats” says Tom Li (‘22)

With the new districts, there will be even less competitive districts or districts that have nearly equal chances for either a Republican or Democrat to win. According to the New York Times, only 61 of the 435 seats will be competitive. With only 14% of all districts having races that could seemingly go, either way, election apathy, or the unwillingness to go out and vote, then it is likely the Democrats will lose out this November.

“These races are almost always decided before we even show up to the polls, so why even show up to vote?” says Li.

Voter apathy reduces the size of the voting pool, and when the pool shrinks, so does the number of Democrats. In tangent with the falling approval rating of President Joe Biden, it is likely that the Midterm election spells doom for congressional democrats.

“Despite everything, remember it’s only February, so it’s too early to truly tell how it will all work out,” says Zhan