Monday, November 28, 2022

Trump loses ground, Biden closes gap ahead of Nov midterms

With just 11 days left for the November 8 midterm polls in the US, former President Donald Trump has gone from bad to worse in approval ratings, while incumbent President Joe Biden shows only marginal improvement as voters are divided on important issues like inflation and abortion rights, while swing ballots hold the key in at least eight battleground states.
In the upcoming election, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested.
Thirty-nine state and territorial gubernatorial elections, as well as numerous other state and local elections, will be contested. The results will determine the 118th US Congress.
In the Senate, the Democrats and Republicans split 50:50 with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the edge for the Democrats with her tie breaking vote.
In the House, Democrats have a wafer-thin majority of 220 seats and Republicans 212, with three seats vacant.
The two parties want to retain their numbers and the Republicans appear set to increase it.
Using the average of race ratings from the Cook Political Report, the American encyclopedia of politics, Ballotpedia identified 13 battleground states of Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
These are the states on which an electoral victory hinged in the 2020 elections and the scenario remains much the same in 2022.
Previously, Trump had in Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas, while Biden emerged victorious in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Biden is no exception to the rule that an incumbent President has lost the midterms referendum as he battles a powerful rhetoric from Republicans led by Trump who are constantly harping on ‘Bidenomics’ going bad causing inflation to peak to the highest level in 40 years, job losses and unemployment peaking. But all of this is not really true.
Actually, Biden has inherited a legacy of bad economic management from Trump who refused to close down establishments and work spaces during the Covid-19 pandemic causing loss of lives and livelihood.
A BBC investigation showed that Biden succeeded in increasing the employment situation by adding 60,000 jobs a month in 2021 against both former President Bill Clinton and Trump, both of whom added only 30,000 jobs a month during their presidency, economic analysts say.
Biden is very strong on restoration of women’s abortion rights overturned by the Supreme Court some months ago as it scrapped the 1973 Roe vs Wade judgement that upheld abortion rights of women for a good 39 years.
American women unilaterally oppose the Supreme Court decision and conservative Republican states decision to implement the same.
Biden signed an executive order allowing Americans to travel overseas and within states to get abortion done to terminate pregnancies borne out of incest, rape and deformities of foetus. And corporates such as Microsoft, Netflix, and Amazon offered their employees cash benefits for out of state abortions.
Women voters are solidly behind Biden on this but the string of progressive legislations like the inflation reduction act with a spend of $750 billion, capping the price of prescription drugs ($35 for insulin dosage) and bringing health care costs through insurers more affordable , waiving of education loans for family incomes below $10,000, the CHIPS legislation to make semiconductors within US reducing dependence on China that would create thousands of jobs are yet to strike a chord with voters who are swayed by the republican propaganda of grocery and gas prices making life difficult for Americans.
GDP numbers have dipped in three successive quarters but economists believe that’s no indication of an impending recession as a full year’s numbers are needed to make that forecast. But republicans have been fanning fears of recession among voters.
That Trump has been able to have a strong hold on the Republican Party as the strongman is remarkable even as friends turn foes and funders shy away as his legal baggage is increasing day by day.
Trump is under fire from the congressional panel probing the January 2021 Capitol riot for an alleged involvement to incite right wingers who invaded the Capitol Hills to overturn a popular mandate endangering the lives of policemen and Senators, including former Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump faces both civil and criminal suits from the New York Attorney General’s office led by Letitia James (Democrat), accusing him of systematic fraud on the government by inflating property values, securing enormous loans with “fraudulent claims” and evading taxes by “false claims”.
The seizure of the 11,000 documents from his Florida residence by the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) claiming they came under the espionage act as they related to FBI, CIA and IC reports on countries inimical to the US and the Trump selected special master district court judge James Dreary showing no concessions on review by the former President’s legal team of national security documents has only added to his legal woes with the Republican National Congress (RNC) not willing to pay out the bills.
But Trump has his own war chest through his social groups such as ‘Save America’, ‘Make America Great Again’ and ‘Truth Social’, though his website is tottering for finance, claim his campaign managers.
While Trump’s USP is inflation and unemployment and Biden’s USP is restoration of abortion rights that would bring out women voters in the hordes. Inflation is striking a response from the swing voters. Who are they? They are generally the ethnic and young unemployed Latino voters.
The educated college youth is throwing in its lot with the democrats especially with the loan waiver or forgiveness though its run into some problems as republicans oppose it as an extravagant vote catching spend.
The London Economist in a report says America’s midterm elections looks likely to deliver bad news for the Democrats. At the half-way mark between presidential elections, voters routinely give the incumbent party a beating.
In late summer, despite high inflation and low approval ratings for Biden, Democrats had seemed to be in with a good chance of keeping the Senate, and even, perhaps, the House.
The party has notched up some notable legislative achievements this year; its message to voters was sharpened after a stunning decision by the Supreme Court to end America’s constitutional right to abortion. But just a few weeks out from the election, polls and forecasts put the Republicans in a stronger position. Their chances of taking the Senate are improving, The Economist said.
Democrats are polling best in states where surveys tend to misfire, media reports say. However, polls in right-leaning states have most overestimated support for Democrats recently. The party campaigns American democracy is under threat are also having an impact with voters and dividing the nation along partisan lines.

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