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In the News

2022 US Midterms - Is the Momentum shifting towards the Democrats?

Mike McCartney

30th August 2022

What are the Midterms and why are they important?

Looking at an article this week, we can see a change in fortunes for the Democrats.

But before we look at in brief, let's have a look at the meaning and content of midterm elections.

As the name suggests, they occur half way between a General Election. therefore, the President is not on the ballot. But the whole of the House is, and a third of the Senate (plus a smattering of gubernatorial and other sub-national elections, that can significantly alter the public policy landscape for many Americans, but that's another story).

Therefore, they can have a significant impact on the ability of the White House to steer their agenda through Congress. Historically, the party that is incumbent at 1600 Pensylvannia Avenue tends to lose seats.

Have a look at these two primers for tutor2u:

1. Study note on midterms.

2. Study note on midterms.

So, to the Guardian article, where Joan Greve states:

"Joe Biden has transformed his rough July into a jubilant August. Last month, the US president was drowning in negative headlines about his handling of numerous crises, from the war in Ukraine to record-high gas prices and the apparent demise of his signature legislative proposal.

Now, as the summer draws to a close, Biden is riding high, powered by the passage of Democrats’ climate and healthcare package and glimmers of hope for his party’s prospects in the midterm elections.

As Biden has enjoyed this recent wave of wins, his approval rating has ticked up as well, although it remains underwater. A Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Tuesday found that 41% of Americans approve of Biden’s job performance, marking the first reading above 40% since early June.

Earlier this month, Democrats overtook Republicans on the generic congressional ballot for the first time since last November, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Those developments have led some election forecasters to shift their predictions for the November elections. FiveThirtyEight’s forecast model suggests Democrats are now slightly favoured to maintain control of the Senate."

Read the full article here.

Activities

Explain what is mean by the phrase 'midterm elections'

Analyse how and why the party that has controlled the White House has performed well/poorly at these elections

Using the links here, discuss how you think Biden's party will perform at the November polls.

Mike McCartney

Mike is an experienced A-Level Politics teacher, author and examiner.

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