Yusuf Abdullahi Dabo
Midterm elections in the United States are the general elections that are held near the midpoint of a President’s four-year term of office. The United States held its midterm elections on 8 November 2022. These elections are for congress which is made up of two parts the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The Democratic Party has held the majority in both the House and the Senate for the past two years. That’s been helpful for president Joe Biden to pass the laws he wanted. Polling suggests the Republicans might take the House of Representatives but the Democrats could hold on to the Senate.
Of the 435 seats in the House, most are safely held by either, with just 30 currently a toss-up between the two. Suburban areas around cities in states like Pennsylvania, California, Ohio and North Carolina will be key.
In the Senate, it now looks like the four of the 35 seats being contested could go either way. The pivotal races here are in Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania with many races expected to be very close; it could be days before we have final results.
WHAT ARE THE BIG ISSUES?
At the start of 2022, it looked like the biggest issues were going to be immigration, crime and the cost of living, which are vote winners for conservative Republicans. The change in June when the U S Supreme Court overturned national abortion protections, gave a boost to the Democrats who support women abortion and having the right to choose and have made that central to many campaigns.
But as the immediate impact of that decision fades, Republicans are trying to turn the focus back to inflation, immigration and violent crime.
WHAT EFFECT WILL THE RESULT HAVE?
Midterms often serve as a verdict on how the president is doing and the party that holds the White House tends to lose seats. That’s a worry for President Biden, whose approval rating among voters has been less than 50% since last August. If the Democrats hang on, President Biden will be able to keep going with his plan on climate change, expanding government Health care programmes, protecting abortion rights and tightening gun control.
If the Republicans take control of either chamber, they will be able to effectively grind that agenda to a halt. They will also be able to control investigatory committees so they could end the enquiry into the 6 January 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former president Donald Trump – although its work is set to finish by the end of the year.
It would be harder for Mr Biden to make new appointments, including to the US Supreme Court. Republicans would also hamper his foreign policy particularly help for Ukraine, as it battles the Russian invasion. In return, the President could wield his veto pen and block conservatives’ laws on abortion, immigration and taxes.
HOW DOES THIS SHAPE THE 2024 PRESIDENTIAL RACE?
The midterms could give us a clue as to who might be in the running to be the Republican presidential candidate for 2024. If candidates backed by Mr Trump do badly, he’s less likely to get backing from the Republican party to run for president again. In Florida and Texas, Republican Governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott hope re-election will spur them on to a bid for the white house.
If the Democrats can hold on to power in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that should give them some confidence as they built their 2024 campaign to get president Biden re-elected
The US’s crucial midterm elections have significant outcomes for the country and the world. As polls suggest that Republicans could reap a successful result following this midterm elections, it could have an impact on the US as a nation and the world at large in a noteworthy manner. One of the implications is that not only would former US president Donald Trump stage his presidential bid for the 2024 elections, but the outcome could also have a consequence on US aid to Ukraine in the midst of the Russian invasion.
- If the Democrats hold the Senate and Republicans win the House of Representatives, for Biden and the Democrat party, this could lead to a flurry of investigations driven by the House. Republicans may also attempt to impeach the president. This setup could lead to some changes in US aid for Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.
- If the Republicans hold both the Senate and the House of Representatives, that could reduce Biden’s power in a q way as he could be blocked at every step, even on issues where there was usually bipartisan cooperation. Support for Ukraine again could be at stake again in such a scenario.
- If Democrats hold both the Senate and House of Representatives, this could mean Biden would be able to smoothly proceed with his plans and would be stronger by the passing day. There would be no changes Internationally in such a scenario.