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Tags: republicans | midterms | inflation | congress | momentum

Biden, Democrats Losing Election-Year Momentum

president joe biden joins democrats with a black face mask on
President Joe Biden (Graeme Sloan/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 18 January 2022 12:39 PM

With President Joe Biden's legislative strategy stalling in Congress, and rising prices a major problem, the Democrats are losing momentum in an election year.

The president's latest approval rating sits at 42.4% with disapproval at 52.2%, according to FiveThirtyEight.com.

Since World War II, there has been a "decent relationship between the president’s average net approval rating (approval rating minus disapproval rating) on the day of the midterm elections, and how many seats his party has lost in the House of Representatives," according to FiveThirtyEight.

With the Senate split 50-50, and centrist Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., in favor of retaining the filibuster rules, the president has limited opportunities to improve his position before the midterms in November, according to the Washington Examiner.

Republicans have benefited from foreign policy setbacks such as the hasty withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the border-migration problems, and the perception that the president is weak when it comes to thwarting Russian and Chinese aggression.

Democrats, on the other hand, can focus on effective vaccine distribution, the American Rescue Plan, the bipartisan infrastructure bill, and lower unemployment.

But trillions in government spending as well as supply-chain shortages have contributed to a 7% inflation rate, which Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell initially characterized as "transitory."

Instead, Powell and the Fed have had to admit that inflation is here to stay. Three or four interest rate hikes are scheduled for 2022, spooking the financial markets in an election year.

While Democrats can take credit for effective vaccine distribution in 2021, Biden was dealt a blow by the Supreme Court blocking the private-sector COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees. The president faces an uphill battle with a conservative majority on the nation's highest court.

"The Supreme Court could effectively overturn Roe v. Wade, which will make choice the main issue in the midterms," according to former Democrat consultant Christopher Hahn.

Meanwhile, Democrats are hoping to salvage something from the Build Back Better bill after Manchin said in December that he would not support it. Sinema also had expressed opposition to parts of the bill.

Last week, chief White House economist Cecilia Rouse said Biden would focus on getting key components of the bill passed. "The president will still be looking for ways to make them happen — maybe not in that particular bow, but these are important investments that we need to make if we’re going to continue growth," she said.

As the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was observed, Black leaders warned that without "voting rights" legislation, there could be serious consequences for Democrat enthusiasm and turnout in vital swing states in November's midterm elections.

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With President Joe Biden's legislative strategy stalling in Congress, and rising prices a major problem, the Democrats are losing momentum in an election year.
republicans, midterms, inflation, congress, momentum
Tuesday, 18 January 2022 12:39 PM
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