The primary season for the midterm elections in the United States in November, where parties nominate candidates to run in the general election, has ended.
Republicans are trying to take control of both houses of Congress and have a very high chance of doing so with the House of Representatives. They have a smaller chance of taking control of the Senate because not every Senate seat is up for election. Of the Senate seats that are up for election, Democrats have the advantage.
Republicans previously predominated over voter frustration with President Joe Biden over economic policies and inflation. That changed after a June Supreme Court ruling overturned Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states. States can now decide whether to allow abortion independently. That decision was unpopular. A month before the ruling, half of the voters did not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned. Republicans have tried to avoid talking about abortion where possible. Some have even removed sections of their campaign websites containing their opposition to the topic.
With Republicans at a disadvantage over abortion, they have tried to focus on inflation and the economy. Railroad workers planned a strike that was supposed to begin on September 16, and Republicans were attempting to use that against Biden. A strike could have made inflation worse, caused shortages, and cost the economy $2 billion a day. However, on September 15, Biden and his administration were able to negotiate a deal that avoided a strike. Although inflation has slowed from a peak in June, it is still higher than many Americans have experienced, at 8.5 percent. Gas prices have also fallen, but that may not be enough to help Democrats keep both houses of Congress.
Another issue is the 2020 presidential election results. At least 22 out of 36 Republican gubernatorial nominees and 19 out of 35 Republican Senate nominees have rejected, declined to affirm, raised doubts about, or tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. A closely watched race is in Arizona, where Republican nominee Kari Lake has made the issue the center of her campaign, calling the 2020 election “stolen.” Also, each state has a secretary overseeing elections. Lake said that her Democratic opponent, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, should be imprisoned over her role in the 2020 election. Another closely watched race is in Georgia, where Republican nominee Hershel Walker has also called the 2020 election stolen. Although that is dangerous for democracy, it does not appear to hurt Republican chances of winning control of the House.
The president’s party usually loses seats in Congress. Considering abortion, the economy, and the 2020 presidential election results, voters may be influenced when making a decision between Democrats and Republicans. Because abortion is an issue that is helping Democrats, they may lose fewer seats than expected even if Republicans take control of the House.
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