As the coronavirus pandemic subsides and Americans watch the war in Ukraine with anxiety, Democrats and Republicans are honing their arguments with voters in this year’s critical midterm elections.
The outcome of the elections depends on the message, the momentum and the money.
Both parties, especially their incumbents, will have the necessary resources to participate in the general elections. So the money factor will probably be a wash.
But Republicans have history on their side. The party that controls the White House regularly suffers catastrophic losses in midterm elections. with the president Joe Biden struggling in the pollsDemocrats are preparing for the prospect of losing the House, and possibly the Senate.
Given that the money game is a push and the momentum is currently on the side of the GOP, the message that Democratic and Republican candidates deliver to voters could determine not only November’s general election, but which party has the driver’s seat for the 2024 presidential contest.
“We need to send the message that we are here to keep communities safe,” said U.S. Representative Michael Burgess, R-Pilot Point. “We want a safe and prosperous economy. We would like to see the success of our children in the schools. Our government must be accountable to the people.
Democrats control the White House and both houses of Congress. They acknowledged they needed to improve their messaging to voters to be successful in November.
“We need to talk about what we’ve done and the legislation we’ve passed,” said Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas. “This legislation is so important, like the US bailout and the bipartisan infrastructure bill, that people sometimes forget what was in it. You actually have to go through it and tell people why this legislation is important. »
This year, Republicans need to win five seats to take control of the US House of Representatives. The GOP needs a net gain of a seat to take control of the Senate, as they currently hold 50 seats. Democrats have nominal control of the chamber 50-50 because Vice President Kamala Harris can vote in the event of a tie.
The outcome of midterm elections is generally predictable. The president in power is almost always humiliated.
In 2018, when Donald Trump was president, Democrats rallied voters angry that Republicans were trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They won 41 seats to take control of the House.
While Trump suffered a midterm meltdown in 2018, Barack Obama presided over midterm election defeats during his presidency, including the 2010 contests in which Republicans won 63 seats to win the House. .
The last time the ruling party held the position was in 2002, when President George W. Bush and the Republicans managed to hold the House and win the Senate. Only four times in history (1902, 1934, 1998, and 2002) has the incumbent president won House seats in midterm elections.
“The magnitude of the Republican victory in November could be so big, and it could carry over into 2024 for whoever is the Republican presidential nominee,” Burgess said.
But Republicans are at a slight risk of being tripped up in November by Trump, a 2020 bugaboo.
Trump wants GOP candidates to acknowledge his grievances, including the baseless claim that the 2020 election was stolen from him.
Earlier this month he canceled support for Alabama representative Mo Brooksa Senate candidate who said the former president cannot outrun the 2020 election.
“President Trump has asked me to cancel the 2020 election, immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House, immediately return President Trump to the White House, and call a new special election for the presidency,” he said. said Brooks in Hueytown, Ala.
Trump said Brooks joined the “woke” crowd.
Burgess warned against party bickering.
“We have the opportunity to curb the bad stuff and bring it back to center,” Burgess said. “We can’t waste it. We can start aiming at each other, but we won’t accomplish what history now offers us to accomplish.
It’s possible for Republicans to hit Biden, push a conservative agenda, and appease Trump all at the same time.
But the idea of a Trump comeback could drive away general election voters who are otherwise not thrilled with Biden.
For their part, Democrats must aggressively explain their achievements. And they have to deal with the rising cost of goods and services, including food and fuel.
“We have to recognize the pain that some people are feeling with rising costs, because a lot of that has been caused by the pandemic,” Allred said. “[Candidates] We need to recognize that and make sure people understand what the drivers are and then talk about what we’re doing to address it.
Allred hailed Biden’s first term.
“When you look around, unemployment is low and we have the pandemic under control,” Allred said. “It’s because of the bills we passed.”
Allred said the Democrats could win in November.
“The Republicans don’t have a plan,” Allred said. “They just want to criticize us for things that are beyond our control.”