US elections 2022, dem despair: “comeback does not last”

Polls again point to Republicans growing and ahead in congressional elections

Little confidence among Democrats ahead of the midterm elections, scheduled for November in the United States. Last summer, thanks to the wave of anger provoked by the decision of the Supreme Court to cancel the constitutional right to abortion and a certain drop in the price of gasoline, it seemed that the Democrats could manage to avoid the electoral disaster that for months had been prophesied for midterm. But now, a few weeks after the November 8 vote, the wind seems to have turned again and polls are again pointing to Republicans on the rise and ahead in the congressional elections.

In recent days, a CbsNews / YouGov poll gave the Gop two points ahead, and then yesterday the New York Times / Siena College poll arrived, further widening the gap, Republicans to 49% and Democrats 45%. And even more alarming, the poll indicates how women registered as independent seem to have digested the alarm and concern about abortion, and are now looking to the Republicans.

“I wish we had voted in August, I think the comeback came too soon,” Third Way analyst Matt Bennett told Politico, underlining how now the current situation could not be more contrary to the president’s party.

After falling for weeks, gas and gas prices have now resumed their pace, along with inflation. Republicans have made this their electoral workhorse, along with the rise in crime. All this while voting has already begun in many states.

Another long-time dem strategist, Mark Longabaugh, who worked for Bernie Sanders’ campaign in 2016, is also convinced there was a timing error: “I’ve been doing this job for 30 years, and it’s always between late September and beginning of October when the games really begin – he said – so at this moment, it is not possible to look at these numbers and not say that something is moving in favor of the Republicans “.

The new polls are throwing the dem into despair, also because until a few weeks ago the landscape was completely different, after the positive results obtained in the special elections in Nebraska, Minnesota and New York. After months of plummeting, Joe Biden’s popularity rate, also in the summer, had begun to rise somewhat. And above all, the victory in the referendum on abortion in a strongly republican state like Kansas, which made us think that abortion could be the trump card of this difficult electoral round.

But that was not the case: according to the New York Times poll, abortion is an important issue for voting for only 5% of voters, while for 44% it is the economy, and Republicans have the advantage on this. on the dem by a large margin. “I think we had a couple of good weeks and everyone slapped each other on the back, saying that this would be enough to overcome two years of disaster on everything”, is the lucid self-criticism of a dem strategist. “But in reality there is nothing good: the best we can hope for now is a draw in the Senate, but the House is completely lost”, then he ruled.

There are also those who, among the dem pollsters, remember how the new polls reflect what politics and history – the midterm elections are traditionally, with some exceptions, painful for the president’s party – indicated and that the one in August was a summer illusion. “Things have taken a traditional course,” says Celinda Lake, who was Biden’s campaign consultant in 2020.

Barack Obama’s midterm elections in 2010 – when the Republicans took control of the House – and in 2014 – when they also conquered the Senate – were also disastrous for the party. With the Democrats then regaining the House in Donald Trump’s midterm elections.