Midterm elections 2022, US to vote: what can change

All 435 deputies and 35 of the 100 senators are renewed

On Tuesday, November 8, America votes in the 2022 midterm elections and returns to the polls for the first time after Donald Trump contested the results of the 2020 vote and his supporters stormed Congress in a bloody insurrection to prevent the ratification of Joe Biden’s victory. The midterm electoral round therefore presents itself as a test for American democracy, with eyes already set on the race for the White House of 2024.

Traditionally a referendum on the work of the president in office, in the last electoral cycles the midterm elections (in which all 435 deputies and 35 of the 100 senators are renewed) have punished the party of the tenant of the White House. It happened to Barack Obama in 2010, before him to Bill Clinton in 1994, and they both then won two years after their second term. For Joe Biden, however, the situation is more complex: a heavy defeat for the Democrats would give more strength to those in the party who believe that in 2024 they should focus on a new candidate and not on a president who will turn 80 on November 20.

On the opposite side, too Donald Trump sees Tuesday’s election as a stepping stone to his new White House candidacy, which he himself has hinted that it will come “very soon”, with sources from the former president’s entourage also indicating a date, November 14. The decisive result will be the result of the dozens of candidates supported by him, and in some cases chosen and pushed into the field, whose victory would decisively increase his weight, not only on the electoral basis, but also within the Congress.

The victory of the army of Trumpian candidates, who believe that Biden’s election was not legitimate risks becoming a major problem for democracy in 2024. Because many of these candidates will have roles, governor or secretary of state, which will allow them to control, and influence, the electoral systems of the states in the upcoming elections.

One of them, Jim Marchant, a candidate for secretary of state in Nevada, was very explicit: “When I am elected secretary of state, along with the other secretaries of state, we will make things right all over the country, and President Trump will be again. president in 2024 “.

The Republican victory in the House, especially if it brings to Congress many exponents of the Maga, the far-right movement inspired by the Trump principles of America First, may have drastic consequences also for the commitment of the US to the side of Ukraine. “With a republican majority, Ukraine will not go even a penny”, thundered at a rally alongside Trump Marjorie Taylor Greene, the deputy close to the Qanon sect, who in criticizing the commitment alongside Kiev in recent months she often appeared to repeat arguments used by Moscow.

Affirmations that suggest a rift within the Republican party, between the establishment that supports the Biden administration in defending Kiev, and the noisy, and is expected to be more numerous after Tuesday, a far-right wing that, especially in the House, intends to make his voice heard. So much so that Kevin McCarthy, who hopes to become the next Speaker, is already trying to ingratiate himself with her, they say that Congress will not “write blank checks to Ukraine”.

Then there is the battle for the nominations of judges, less evident, but which is certainly fundamental to American politics, as the decision on abortion of the Supreme Court with a conservative majority has demonstrated in a sensational way. In response to the 200 federal judges appointed by Trump during his tenure, Biden has appointed 75 in these two years, surpassing the number of appointments made by both Trump and Obama in the same period.

And to conservative appointments, the Democratic president has pitted against a record of appointments of women and people of color, such as the first African American Supreme Court judge, Ketanji Brown Jackson. But this activism would have a drastic setback in the event of a Democratic defeat in the Senate.

Finally, the issue of the abortion attack, which the Democrats hoped that, after the Supreme Court’s decision to revoke the constitutional right of choice for women, could be the trump card for them in these elections, which instead appear, according to to polls dominated by the concerns, and anger, of voters over the rise in prices, due to inflation and the energy crisis.

In any case, voters in five states will also be called to vote in a referendum on abortion on Tuesday: in Michigan, California and Vermont to guarantee the right of reproductive freedom, in Kentucky and Montana instead to limit access to termination of pregnancy. .

Since last June, Biden has kept repeating that a Congress with a larger dem majority could pass a law that nationally codifies and defends women’s right to choose. But instead a republican victory would advance the specter of bills, which some Republicans have already announced, to impose nationally the restrictions on access to abortion that have been imposed in dozens of republican-led states since June. .