Not too long ago, I blogged about how the “red wave” could be crashing down on the halls of Congress. Usually, the party that holds the White House gives back seats in the House of Representatives at the very least, and usually in the Senate in the midterm elections. It’s only bucked the trend twice since 1910. Once was in 1934 with FDR as President, and the other time was in 2002 with George HW Bush, after the First Gulf War when he had an approval rating of like 94%.
So, it’s not surprising that with Joe Biden trailing both George W. Bush and Bobo Obama in approval ratings after 100 days, that he’d likely be a candidate to follow in the long-standing tradition. But he’s being helped by the number of Democrats in the House that have already signaled that they’ll be retiring from that post with next year’s election. And these aren’t Dems like Maxine Waters or Nancy Pelosi where you could run a breadbox, call it a Democrat and it would win. These are people that were in either red or very purple districts that are backing away from the fight.
Conor Lamb (D-PA), and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL) have decided that they are going to leave the House and try for a higher office. So is Tim Ryan (D-OH), who is likely to seek a Senate seat next year when Rob Portman’s (R-OH) is up. All three are in very competitive House districts. Charlie Crist (D-FL), is also looking to get his old job back as Governor of Florida, which he held from 2007-2011.
Add to that Filemon Vela Jr. (D-TX), and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) who have already announced their retirement, and Cheri Bustos (D-IL) who just announced she’s stepping aside, and you’ve got seven Democrats in either red or purple districts that are going to be possibly losing those seats. Currently the Democrats have a 218-212 advantage with five seats vacant. Even the most conservative estimates of a GOP gain give the Republicans some 20-25 seats as a pickup. It could stretch into the 30’s with these announcements. That means that the GOP would certainly have the majority in the House, and the up-ballot races for Senate could very well tilt toward the Republicans as well.
Most of the issues that are being debated right now in Congress aren’t really popular issues with the voters. Issues like DC statehood, getting rid of the filibuster in the Senate, the infrastructure package that seems to be a huge boondoggle and is likely to be pared back from the $1.9 trillion that Biden wants to spend to more like $500 billion if the bi-partisan bill gets legs, and an immigration reform bill that basically opens the southern border to anyone that wants to get across are all in negative numbers with the American public. Add to that the long list of 52 Executive Orders that Biden has signed, most of which the public isn’t really thrilled with (like cancelling the Keystone-XL Pipeline Project, which was already underway, and the Border Wall construction).
Those issues are only going to exacerbate the situation even more when November of 2022 comes around. And of course, Republicans, being the underdogs are going to be more juiced to get off the couch and vote. As more and more competitive purple states controlled by Republicans pass voting laws that make vote by mail more restrictive, even while opening up longer voting days and easier registration, that’s going to close the chances of fraud. It’s already happened in Texas and Florida. Expect another 26 states to follow suit before November, 2022.
And there you have it. Of course, if the GOP runs crappy candidates, all bets are off. But I would hope that they’d at the very least get someone smarter than the Maxine Waters, or Adam Schiff’s or Jerry Nadler’s or AOC’s of the world. If those folks with a combine IQ of less than Twiggy’s weight (Google her if you don’t know who that is), can get elected, the GOP will be in fine shape!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!