The Republicans were predicted to post a major win in the 2022 midterm elections thanks to the low popularity of President Joe Biden and the host of economic woes tormenting average Americans. Pollsters had predicted a red wave across the US and the analysts were near certain that both the House and Congress would be grabbed by the Republicans.
However, the election turned out to be a surprise package for President Biden. While early results showed there was no GoP wave, the Democrats are surprisingly clinging on to a clutch of battleground seats both in Senate and House.
President Biden, understandably elated over the surprise results, hailed the results and said it was a victory for democracy. "While the press and the pundits are predicting a giant red wave, it didn't happen," Biden said at a news conference. "It was a good day for democracy and I think a good day for America," he added.
How Biden Compares with Predecessors
As of now it is almost certain that the GoP will eventually grab control of the House of Representatives, albeit with a much thinner margin than expected. However, the loss of House control for a first-term president is quite normal, considering how the past contests played out.
Ronald Reagan had lost 26 House seats though he was far more popular than Biden at this stage of the presidency. Biden's Democratic predecessors like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama also lost sizeable number of House seats. While Clinton lost 52, Obama lost 63. President Donald Trump had lost 40 House seats in the 2018 midterms.
Do Midterm Results Indicate Biden will Run in 2024?
Biden's 2024 stance has always been a matter of speculation. The ageing president has not expressly ruled a run but most political watchers do not expect him to run. Apart from his advanced age, the fact that he has been fumbling through the presidency will weigh on the Democratic party leadership. However, Biden has chosen to play the guessing game. The midterm results will certainly encourage him to seriously consider making another battle pitch in 2024.
How About Trump 2024?
Within the Republican party there will be increasing scrutiny of Trump's leadership after the party floundered in the midterm election even though the conditions were favorable to them. Trump has said he would make a big announcement on November 15, though. The rise of Florida Governor Ron De Santis, who scored a strong re-election victory, will be another threat to Trump.
It also remains to be seen how Trump navigates the political climate after a host of his handpicked candidates lost high profile national races. The former president has already highlighted the fact that the vast majority of candidates that he endorsed have won, though key contests were lost in places like Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. "I think if they win, I should get all the credit and if they lose, I should not be blamed at all," Trump had said before the results.
"While in certain ways yesterday's election was somewhat disappointing, from my personal standpoint it was a very big victory," Trump said after the results started coming in.
Republican Control of House Looks Certain
A GoP victory in the House of Representative will change the course of the Biden presidency. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has been a thorn on the side of the Republicans will also have to step down. House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy is expected to become the Speaker. The conflict between GoP and Democrats over the parliamentary agenda will worsen too. Significantly, the Congressional investigations into Trump over the January 6 riots will lose steam and the former president's path to a White House run will get smoother. At the same time, the GoP will also not be able to call all the shots as they will only have a slim majority.
Focus on Senate
More than a day after the polls closed, the picture of US Senate is still not clear as key races still remain in the balance. If the GoP gets the control of both the houses, a governmental policy paralysis will be the result. The Democratic legislative control has already been severely hampered as they hold on to a slim majority in the House even as the Senate remains evenly split.
Personal Problems for Biden and Trump