Opinion | Democrats Shouldn’t Panic. They Should Go Into Shock.

Meanwhile, Bruce Kaine of Stanford University has suggested that defeating the Democrats in 2022 may be a potentially positive development for the party’s long-term prospects:

It’s entirely possible that a midterm loss in 2022 would be the best path to winning the presidency in 2024. It would put Republicans in a “fire or shutdown” position to confront the problems facing the country, and Biden could simultaneously succeed. middle without looking at his left shoulder.

Cain took this reasoning one step further to argue it

In retrospect, the worst thing that happened to Biden was the Democrats winning two seats in Georgia. This raised expectations among some in his party that they could go left legislatively while the political sun was shining when in reality political mathematics did not exist for that kind of political ambition.

Cain added:

The Democrats’ best hope is that Trump will undermine some Republicans during his revenge round and that the weakness of the people who want to run under his banner will create some windfall for Democrats.

Howard Rosenthal, professor of political science at New York University, added this observation:

Critics, who have to make a living, always want to attribute causality to election losses. However, the half-cycle is normal. Voters tend to balance the president. Over time, they also created a divided state at the state level.

A surprising number of people I have contacted make clear that the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan did more lasting damage to Biden than expected.

Ted Prader, a political scientist at the University of Michigan, wrote in an email:

I’m skeptical that those same events led to lower ratings; Americans weigh domestic events much heavier than foreign affairs. But the increased attention and criticism can serve as a call to attention to reevaluate the president: “Wait, how well is he doing his job?” As political science research has convincingly shown, bipartisan criticism, as we saw with the Afghan withdrawal, in particular, opens the door to weaker support among independents and members of the president’s own party.

Gary Jacobson, a political science professor at the University of California, San Diego, wrote to me that “things that touch on efficiency (Afghanistan, borders, congressional inaction) are probably the most important” to lowering Biden’s ratings, but that “for the future, it is inflation and the general economy that will be the most significance, I think.”

Herbert Kitchelt, a professor of political science at Duke, emphasized in an email that the problems facing Biden and his fellow Democrats run deeper than any one issue:

Biden was elected as a moderate to bring some sanity back into government through a steady hand and incremental reforms. Instead, a wing of the Democratic Party took the 2020 election in which the Democratic Party lost a surprising number of House seats as a mandate for voters to implement a very basic program of social reform and social and cultural change. Although I personally would like many of these policy initiatives, I also recognize that this programmatic ambition aligns with the desires of only a minority of core Democratic voters, and certainly not with the desires of centrist voters who have prevented Trump from being reelected. .

The history of the midterm elections suggests that significant losses in the House of Representatives for the party of the incumbent are inevitable, except for unusual circumstances such as public hostility to the impeachment of Republican-led Bill Clinton in 1998 and the September 11 terrorist attacks that surged Republican support in 2002. Only twice since the incumbent party has won seats since World War II.

In 2010, Joseph Pavumi, Robert Erickson, Christopher Leisen, political scientists at Dartmouth, Columbia, and the University of Texas-Austin, published “Balancing, Public Polls, and Midterm Elections for Congress” in which they argued that “between February and Election Day, the power of the presidential party’s vote always declines.” but they continued,

The degree of decline has nothing to do with the public’s assessment of the president. Obviously, during a midterm election year, voters shy away from the presidential party in choosing to vote for reasons unrelated to voters’ attitude toward the president. By default, this is the balance: voters vote against the presidential party to give more power to the other party

In a 1988 research paper titled The Mystery of a Midterm Loss, Erikson examined every midterm contest since 1902 and explicitly rejected the theory that such contests are a “negative referendum on presidential performance.” Instead, Erickson wrote,

The interpretation of the “presidential punishment” fits the data well. With this interpretation, mid-term voters punished the president’s party for being the party in power: as the House of Representatives vote continues for the presidential year, the president’s party is doing a much worse job in the midterm than if it did not control the presidency.

While significant midterm losses for the incumbent’s party are inevitable in most circumstances, this does not mean that external developments have no bearing on the outcome scale.

Kitchelt, citing James Carville, noted in his email that “the economy, stupid. That means inflation, supply chain problems and the inability of Democrats to expand the social safety net in a piecemeal way.”

Inflation rate, Drian Nichou, director of civic technology and engagement at Microsoft and co-director of the Harvard-Harris Poll Poll, wrote in an email,

Now outpacing wage growth. As a result, nearly 4 in 10 voters say their personal financial situation is getting worse. This number is higher than the lows of the 1920s in May.” More importantly, the majority of voters are not confident of the Biden administration keeping inflation at bay (56 percent not confident/44 percent confident) as well as of the Federal Reserve (53 percent not confident). Confident/ 47 percent confidence.

Additionally, Nicho said,

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of voters believe that illegal monthly border crossings have increased since Biden took office, 65 percent blame Biden’s executive orders for encouraging illegal immigration, and 68 percent want tougher policies to curb the flow of people across the border.

In January 2021, the month Biden took office, the University of Michigan consumer confidence index reached 79. By November 1, the index had fallen to 66.8, its lowest level since November 2011. Richard Curtin, director of consumer confidence, wrote the survey, in a comment accompanying the report: “Consumer confidence fell in early November to its lowest level in a decade due to escalating inflation and a growing belief among consumers that effective policies have not been developed yet to reduce the damage from rising inflation.”

Similarly, when Biden took office in January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the inflation rate was 1.4 percent; As of October this year, the rate had risen to 6.2 percent.

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