The democrats celebrate the results of some ‘midterms’ decided by the minimum

The democrats celebrate the results of some ‘midterms’ decided by the minimum

The 2022 midterm elections were resolved almost definitively this Monday with a better result than expected for the Democrats. President Joe Biden’s party entered November expecting to lose ground on several fronts, but voters were surprised at the polls. Just a handful more victories would have certified a superb result for the Democrats, but the House of Representatives has resisted them.

On Monday, the media declared Democrat Katie Hobbs the winner of the Arizona gubernatorial race. Her victory meant the defeat of Kari Lake, one of the most mediatic pro-Donald Trump stars of these midterm elections. With Lake, the possibilities of the most extreme wing of the Republicans in the most competitive states of the country were also buried.

As we explained in Neutral last week, the midterms were a defeat for Trump, while the Democrats depended on what ended up happening with the Senate. After this weekend, Biden’s party has managed to maintain control of the upper House and could add one more seat than they now have if the Reverend Raphael Warnock wins the Georgia runoff.

In the House, the Republicans will only have won a few seats when all the votes have been counted. And that’s not just bad news for Republicans have given pre-election expectations; it’s bad news because the precedents in midterm elections often portend a strong showing for the opposition party.

  • Bill Clinton suffered through the 1994 Republican Revolution in his first midterm elections. The Republicans took 54 seats from the Democrats.
  • George W. Bush suffered from low popularity over the Iraq war, and his party lost 31 seats to the Democrats in the 2006 midterms.
  • Barack Obama watched as the Republicans destroyed the Democratic majority by winning 63 seats in 2010.
  • Donald Trump suffered the same fate in 2018 when 41 seats were enough for the Democrats to wrest the majority from the Republicans.

Arizona, the jewel in the Democratic crown in the ‘midterms.’

In these 2022 midterms, Arizona better illustrated than the rest of the states the battle between the establishment of the Democrats and the extremist pro-Trump wing of the Republicans. Deniers of the 2020 election who consider Biden an illegitimate president have lost in all but perhaps one executive fight, the one over the attorney general, which is still too close to call a winner.

  • In the gubernatorial race, Lake lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs despite becoming a star in just a few months of campaigning.
  • And in the race for secretary of state, an executive position that oversees elections, Republican Mark Finchem trailed Democrat Adrian Fontes by more than 120,000 votes.

Those losses matter because candidates like Lake have cast doubt on the electoral process with unsubstantiated accusations of large-scale voter fraud. In the 2024 presidential election, politicians like Lake could reverse the legitimate results of an election that doesn’t turn out what they want. And that risks unleashing a constitutional crisis in competitive states like Arizona that could decide who wins the presidency within two years.

The Arizona story has been repeated in other competitive states where more 2020 election deniers have lost. All the losers had Trump’s support:

  • In Nevada, Secretary of State candidate Jim Marchant.
  • In Michigan, Secretary of State candidate Kristina Karamo.
  • In Wisconsin, gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels.
  • In Pennsylvania, gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano.

But none of those losses are as momentous as Lake in Arizona. Then, the Republican candidate had become one of the best-known faces of electoral denialism. The interviews of her hawking lie about it were only as far-reaching as Trump’s. And her stardom had translated into constant prominence on Fox News and other right-wing outlets. But all that aura of a winner was dismantled this Monday, risking dragging Trump down with it.

A divided Capitol

Another story from these 2022 midterms is how close the Democrats have come to maintaining control of the House of Representatives. In the days leading up to the election, leading analysts expected Biden’s party to lose more than 20 seats. The opposition party is on track to win a majority of 220-222 Republicans to 213-215 Democrats.

  • The House majority is at 218, meaning Republicans will have little wiggle room to win the presidency now in the hands of Democrat Nancy Pelosi.
  • With the presidency, Republicans will be able to control the legislative agenda, making it difficult for Biden’s Democrats to put their bills to a vote.
  • The big unknown lies in the moderate and extremist wings of the Republican Party, which could force a leadership crisis and open the door for Democrats to seek moderate allies to elect a centrist House speaker.

But that option of a centrist House Speaker seems more like a media (and Democratic) dream than a real possibility. The next few days promise to define better whether Republican Kevin McCarthy has enough support to lead the lower House.

  • Much of the power to decide McCarthy’s future will rest with the Freedom Caucus, a group of ultra-conservative congressmen who have forced concessions from the party establishment in the past.
  • That the Republican majority is so brief offers opportunities for the different factions of the party to seek the best possible agreement.
  • Whoever emerges victorious from those negotiations promises to have a better chance of defining the future of a party whose pulse has been driven almost entirely by Trump in recent years.

The Senate, Biden’s most significant victory

But no victory of these 2022 midterms has been more celebrated in the White House than that of the Senate. With victories in Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Arizona, Democrats maintain control of a chamber that will be key to Biden’s next two years. Mainly due to two factors:

  • Being able to continue confirming progressive judges who reduce the conservative ideological weight with which Trump and the Republicans impregnated the country’s federal courts during the former’s presidency.
  • Being able to continue confirming members of Biden’s cabinet and other positions in federal agencies and US embassies.

Winning seats like those in Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Arizona also allows Democrats to look more optimistically to 2024. Numerous vulnerable upper house seats are up for grabs that year.

  • Even before these midterms, the forecast was that Democrats would have little chance of maintaining a majority in the Senate in 2024.
  • That year, a third of the upper House will be up for grabs, and Democrats will have to defend seats in several competitive and conservative states.

In just one week, the Democrats have secured the Senate, lost less than expected in the House, and removed some of the country’s most extreme politicians from the immediate political landscape. Now, all the lights are on Mar-a-Lago, where Trump plans to announce a new candidacy for the presidency. Although given the results of these 2022 midterms, Democrats may receive the news with enthusiasm.

Ben Oakley
Ben Oakley is the guy you can really trust when it comes to Mainstream News. Whether it is something happening at the Wall Street of New York City or inside the White House in Washington, D.C., no one can cover mainstream news like Ben. Get a daily dose of Trustworthy News by Ben Oakley, only at Globe Live Media.