On The Brink of the 2022 Midterm Elections, Most Americans are saying, “It’s The Economy Stupid!”
With two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, inflation still raging in the U.S., and a bearish and sluggish stock market, recessionary worries are weighing heavy on voter’s minds.
Just over a week ago, we learned that there are 1 million fewer job openings than the last time that the labor market reported what’s called JOLTS data (Job Openings and Labor Turnover). Also, there were 29,000 more people applying for unemployment insurance.
Data like this has significant electoral ramifications. Polls are now suggesting that most people will be voting on the basis of the economy. With elections two weeks away, independents, especially women are swinging towards the Republican Party, despite the Democrats putting a tremendous amount of focus on abortion rights.
I have stated in the past that I didn’t think that the overturn of Roe v Wade by the supreme court would be a game changer regarding the 2022 midterm election. Although there was some excitement immediately after the official announcement as expected, it was evident that eventually that short fuse was going to burn out as our economic circumstances and fundamentals were unlikely to change under this administration and if anything, they were going to get worse.
Although it appears that abortion will not to be as much of a nation wide issue as Democrats had hope for, it will still play a part this election cycle as some states have added proposals to the up and coming ballot. My own home state of Michigan will have a proposal (Proposal 3) on the ballot to let the voters have their say as to whether abortion should be legal or illegal on a state level. The question to be answered is, which side will be more activated to turnout based on this issue and will it have coattails down ballot to help either party?
Voters overwhelmingly say the economy and inflation are concerns that will have an impact on their decision come election day. This is bad news for Democrats. A New York Times/Siena College poll has found that 49 percent of likely voters said they planned to vote for a Republican to represent them in Congress on Nov. 8, compared with just 45 percent who planned to vote for a Democrat. The result represents an improvement for Republicans since September, when Democrats held a one-point edge among likely voters in the last Times/Siena poll.
With inflation holding steady at a 40 year high and the stock market steadily declining, the share of likely voters who said economic concerns were the most important issues facing America has jumped ince July, to 44 percent from 36 percent. This is far higher than any other issue, and voters most concerned with the economy favored Republicans overwhelmingly, by more than a two to one margin.
Even a recent CNN poll taken in the battleground states of Arizona and Nevada showed that the top issue profoundly among likely voters was the economy and inflation. 39 percent of Arizona voters said that the economy and inflation were top issues along with 44 percent of voters in Nevada. Dwarfing all other issues such as abortion, voting rights and election integrity, and immigration.
It’s important to note that when combined, the percentage of voters who say the economy and inflation is the top issue along with immigration, it is a compelling majority.
There was a ton of enthusiasm for Republicans in the spring and early summer. Early polls signified that there would be a red tsunami. Then Roe vs Wade was overturned by the supreme court, the January 6th Committee started getting significant coverage by the mainstream media, and Donald Trump’s estate was raided by the FBI. All of these events gave Democrats a glimmer of hope that they may make the November midterm election competitive.
But as election day has gotten closer, voters started to realize that the pain they are feeling economically is not subsiding. The Democrats’ lucrative claims about how strong the economy is, isn’t fooling anyone. It appears that the Republicans will take over the House of Representatives as the majority after the midterms and the Senate which looked like it may have been out of reach a month ago, is now starting to look very promising for the GOP.
Polling is really starting to show favorable for Republicans in many of the battleground states. Many of these polls showed Democrats with a sizable lead in August and September, and now these races will be close, some even showing Republicans tied or in the lead within margin of error.
A lot of this can be attributed to how Democrats have sweet talked the sluggish economy and have no real plan to fix issues that matter to most Americans. The economy isn’t the only issue that voters have expressed concern over. Crime is on the rise and is ravaging many areas. Even in dark blue New York, Republicans are proving to be competitive. New York Gubernatorial Candidate Republican Lee Zeldin has pulled even with Democrat Kathy Hochul.
Recent polling data (CD Media Big Data) also shows Arizona Senator Mark Kelly is up just +1 over his Republican opponent Blake Masters. This is a race that has recently tightened significantly. Four months ago Kelly had a +6 point lead over Masters. It was believed that this race was completely out of reach for the GOP. Also polls show that the enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats is Republicans +9 over Democrats.
The gap has closed in other races as well. Some Polls have now shown the gap closing in the Michigan gubernatorial race between Gretchen Whitmer (D) and Tudor Dixon (R). According to Mitchell Research & Communications, GOP candidate Tudor Dixon has pulled within two percent of Democrat incumbent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Whitmer leads 49% to 47% which is a tie given the poll’s 4.2% margin of error. The poll shows that 3% of Michigan voters are undecided. Dixon really helped herself in the latest debate in which she had a strong showing and held her own against Whitmer. Dixon seemed to have gotten much more out of the debate than Whitmer. This was a race that had Whitmer +17 over Dixon at one point.
In Pennsylvania, Senate Republican candidate Mehmet Oz has narrowed Democrat John Fetterman’s lead. The two candidates are now polling within margin of error territory according to recent surveys by AARP and POLITICO. This is a race that will come down to the wire. The bad news for Democrats regarding this race is, crime is one of the main issues voters are concerned with. Crime is on the ballot.With violent crime raging at a record setting pace, particularly in cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, crime is on the ballot this November. Fetterman, who has demonstrated to be a candidate that is weak on crime, has pushed for second chances for violent criminals and the release of murders. While he is trying to walk this back, Oz has hammered home that Fetterman’s pivot is not authentic and is only being done since he has been criticized about it.
Another important race to watch is the Georgia Senate between incumbent senator Rev. Ralphael Warnock and Republican Heisman Trophy winner, former NFL great Herschel Walker. Herchel Walker, who is pro-life, has been hit with allegation after allegation. The left thought they had delivered Herchel Walker’s death blow with the most recent allegation to come out about how he had paid for his pregnant ex-girlfriend’s abortion in 2009. Walker who was seen as a vulnerable candidate because of his checkered past and because he is viewed as much less articulate than his opponent, Rev. Raphael Warnock, is now pretty much in a dead even toss up race. This race has gone back and forth for the last six months. Depending on what poll and what week you checked, one week it could be Walker, the next it could be Warnock. However, since the latest above mentioned story broke, Sen. Warnock pulled ahead leading by as much as 6 percentage points. However, Herschel Walker surprised the country with his debate performance on October 13th, 2022. Against Loeffler, Warnock looked prepared and confident. However, Herschel Walker came across as surprisingly well prepared, aggressive, and as a happy Patriot. Warnock seemed diminished in stature and walked and tipped toed around just about every question that was asked of him. Walker meanwhile, answered questions directly and was likable and charming which is very relatable to native Georgians. The most recent RCP poll shows Warnock +2. But this race is well within the margin of error. If anything, with the well known under sampling of Republicans, this race is a tie at the very least with momentum swinging in Herchel Walker’s favor.
While this election probably won’t be the red tsunami that Republicans were hoping for, it is definitely shaping up to be a forceful red wave. My prediction is the GOP will win a net 20-25 House seats and will net 2-4 Senate seats, giving the GOP a majority in both chambers. In the end, this election will come down to the issues that are very unfavorable to Democrats in this current political environment. This has significant electoral ramifications. Democrats had hoped that abortion would be an issue that enegize their base and put them in the position to keep total control of the government. Biden is making a last ditch effort with an announcement that if he is able to keep majorities in both chambers, he vowed that he would codify abortion rights. This announcement hasn’t hardly had any effect on the polls.
As I predicted when the overturn of Roe v Wade was announced, abortion would end up being mainly a state wide issue and would not be a national game changer especially in times of economic turmoil. When people are worried about whether they can put gas in the car to drive to work, if they can afford enough groceries and basic necessities, if they are going to lose their job, or if they can keep their business open, the economy is going to trump everything. The one thing about inflation is, it has punished Americans of every class and region and right now, more voters justifiably trust Republicans on the economy as we are ever so close and interest in the midterms hits high!
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