Images of armed militia trying to act as enforcers on ballot day has created further rancour and animus in what is arguably one of the most ever polarised midterms in the US.
Former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton have been trying to act as catalysts with aggressive rhetoric muddying waters further. On the eve of the midterms where the battle of the ballot for the House of Representatives, Senate, Governor mansions and so on, will lead to distasteful and even downright dirt conspiracy theories till the votes are counted in the ultimate Red vs Blue battlegrounds.
Against a backdrop of rising inflation, a spike in interest rates and consequently prices of groceries, energy, mortgages, the electorate and its moves will determine what happens over the next two years of what has been a weak administration of President Joe Biden. That is the war, but there are innumerable battles to watch out for. The playbooks have been used by both sides, stratagems rolled, volume pumped up even as the common folk remain beleaguered and embattled.
At a micro level New Hampshire, Georgia, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, Michigan and of course Pennsylvania are the cynosure. These states are combat ground zero as all have multiple critical races that will determine control of the Senate, the House and state governments.
What happens in these states will without a doubt impact issues like abortion rights, economic squeeze, education and the climate crisis — not just within their borders, but across the country.
CNN reported here that Democrats closed their midterm election campaign on Monday facing the nightmare scenario they always feared — with Republicans staging a gleeful referendum on Biden’s struggling presidency and failure to tame inflation.
Hopes that Democrats could use the Supreme Court’s overturning of the right to an abortion and a flurry of legislative wins to stave off the classic midterm election rout of a party in power are now a memory. Biden faces a dark political environment because of the 40-year-high in the cost of living — and his hopes of a swift rebound next year are clouded by growing fears of a recession.
US Senate ratings tells us that Democrats need at least 50 seats to keep control of the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris giving them the tie-breaking vote for a majority, while Republicans need 51 to gain control.
Of the 35 seats on the ballot this year, Republicans are currently favoured to win 20 seats, while Democrats are favoured to win 12 seats. Three seats are rated as toss-ups.
For the US House of Representatives, the numbers deep dive reveals that to control the House , a party must hold 218 out of 435 seats.
Republicans are currently favoured to win 216 seats, while Democrats are favoured to win 199 seats, while 20 seats are rated as toss-ups.