What to Expect on Election Day
Elections are less than a week away, and the stakes are incredibly high. The 2022 elections will determine whether or not Biden becomes a lame duck President, and sets the table for an extremely contentious 2024 election. Predicting elections is always a tough business, and 2022 is no exception.
On paper, Republicans should be far ahead, cruising to a 50–60 seat victory. (This happened Under Clinton and Obama during their first midterms). The only Presidents to uniformly gain seats in their first midterm were FDR and George W. Bush post-9/11. Inflation remains stubbornly high, and the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy is likely to plunge us into a recession. Even if a recession doesn’t materialize immediately, interest rates are the highest in over 20 years and have risen rapidly with no end in sight. So far, Federal Reserve Policy is doing nothing to curb inflation, leading to an even dicier prospect. The housing market shows signs of a major collapse, and events in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia are throwing a wrench in gas prices, which had begun to fall from historic highs this summer.
A worldwide recession is within the realm of possibility due to a combination of decisions made by central banks, supply chain issues, the continued effects of COVID-19, and a series of foreign policy dilemmas. Some of these circumstances are similar to events that occurred in 1980-ultimately leading to a massive Republican victory, however all these factors were already underway months prior to the election.
The similarities are actually striking. Carter was elected immediately after a disgraced former President who was involved in a criminal conspiracy, Richard Nixon. Carter appointed a Federal Reserve chairman (Paul Volcker) who raised interest rates and plunged us into a recession, all in the name of fighting inflation-a mistake Biden has echoed by re-nominating Jerome Powell. Carter was not widely loved by his base, and the prospect of him not being his party’s nominee a second time was widely discussed. The price of oil skyrocketed due to OPEC. Carter had won the Presidency by winning over a massive Democratic field of candidates in the previous election, with major discontent from his party’s left wing. All of these factors mirror the current political climate.
However, Democrats have some advantages they didn’t have in 1980. They’ve out fundraised Republicans (although Super PACs make that comparison harder), they’ve hand selected their opponents in many races, and Jan. 6th/Trump still…