Brace for Impact; Race for 2022 Midterms Heats Up

By: Dyllan Ogurkis

As America recovered from the never-ending Presidential election of 2020, the nation braces for the upcoming Midterm elections just year away. With plummeting poll numbers and rising economic issues facing the country, President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party is in a free fall polling wise. From a period between April-September, on the Generic ballot Republicans gained 10% while Democrats sat behind by 4% in late September according to The Morning Consult. However as 2021 went on, the polling numbers failed to improve.

President Biden’s approval numbers during that time period fell as well, and the decline continues. From April 21 to November 10, the President’s approval rating fell from over 51% to a brisk 41% for the overall approval of his presidency. More pointed, his economic ratings fell as well from 52% to 39% in that same time period. Even the President’s championing issue of COVID-19 has fell drastically. Coming in at an initial approval of response from 64%, this rating has dropped below 50% to 47%. These numbers were collected by The Washington Post and included a survey population of 1,001 respondents.

President Biden’s fall in polling numbers is correlated to a lot of the policies that have been brought to the forefront of his agenda. As well, the effectiveness of the implementation of these policies has also hurt the President. According to NPR, 6/10 eliglble households received the child tax credit payment. However, this margin is much smaller than the anticipated 88% that was estimated by the IRS earlier in 2021.

These free falling poll numbers coincide with major Republican gains in the generic ballot in November. In two separate polls conducted by The Washington Post, it was found that Republicans hold an advantage over Democrats both with separate polls of registered and unregistered voters. With unregistered voters, Republicans lead by 3 points in a 46% to 43% margin. However, with registered voters, Republicans expand this margin to 10 points with a 51% to 41% margin. Overall, Republicans are leading the enthusiasm battle heading into 2022. This does come to a surprise to many following the 2020 ‘fraud’ fallout and the Georgia runoff debacle for Republicans. Despite a 74-25 margin of a survey conducted by CNN, believing that Joe Biden did not win the election fairly, Republicans are still winning that enthusiasm battle against Democrats.

This new generic ballot polling for Republicans his higher than Republicans have seen in over a decade. The last time Republican enthusiasm this far out from Election Day was seen for the 2010 Midterm elections during the President. Obama Administration. This was during the Tea Party rise to influence which saw a complete takeover of Congress by Republicans across the country. This enthusiasm had many coinciding factors but many related to President Obama’s Obamacare proposals and other economic policies. Prior to 2012, the same trends of Generic Poll significance came in June of 2002 and July 1994. Both of these elections resulted in major Republican elections to Congress.

Historically however, Republican leads on the generic ballot are very significant, consider the Democratic’s party’s control on the ballot since the post-World War two period. Their largest lead came prior to President Nixon’s resignation in 1974 with a 32 point margin. That does not end their however as Democrats have held historic leads over Republicans in national registered voters since the early 1950s. The Democratic Party held majorities over the House in Congress over four decades in the latter half of the 20th century. This coincided with routine Democratic leads in generic ballot with double digits according to Gallup.

On the ground, the talk of the people concurs with polling numbers. While compiling this article I shared the polling numbers with a former roommate who voted for Biden. He went on to say when asked to describe the Biden presidency with one word “disappointing”. He went on to describe the hopes that the administration would rebound the economy but states that he has seen little to no improvements. On the other hand I also shared the data a former community volunteer of mine. She went on to cite the many problems facing Americans right now including rising inflation, gas prices, as well as issues on the international front such as the retreat from Afghanistan as well as the potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Overall, the issues facing Americans are seeing no exit and some Americans are directing their anger towards the governing party at the federal level. With the generic ballot being at their current level as of December 2021, it will be interesting to watch the trajectory of these polling numbers over the next 10-11 months.

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