Why the midterms may become a referendum on Republican 'extremism': columnists
Countless pundits have been predicting that President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings would spell doom for Democrats in the 2022 midterms. Between Biden’s approval ratings, inflation and historic trends, those pundits have been forecasting that 2022 will be as devastating for Democrats as the red waves of 1994 and 2010.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell still believes that Republicans are likely to “flip” the U.S. House of Representatives, but he isn’t nearly as confident where the U.S. Senate is concerned. Democrats, McConnell has acknowledged, have a shot at holding and perhaps even slightly increasing their narrow Senate majority — and he mentioned the “quality” of GOP Senate candidates as a factor.
In a column published on September 6, liberal Washington Post opinion writers Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent argue that the 2022 midterms may not become a referendum on Biden, but on the “extremism” of far-right MAGA Republicans.
Waldman and Sargent write, “What if in these midterms, the voters aren’t thinking about President Biden much at all?.... Fortunately for Democrats, recent events may convince the wavering that in the midterms, Republicans are the real issue.”
According to the Post columnists, a “host of events” has “showcased the opposition party’s extremism.”
“Remarkable revelations about Donald Trump’s insurrectionism — unearthed by months of digging by the Jan. 6 House select committee — prompted Republicans to rally behind him,” Waldman and Sargent explain. “The half-century-long conservative crusade to overturn Roe v. Wade finally bore fruit, energizing the Democratic base and leading state-level Republicans to push ever-more-draconian abortion restrictions.”
The columnists continue, “Now, with new revelations emerging about Trump’s hoarding of state secrets, a big question is whether something like an ‘anti-MAGA majority’ is out there to be mobilized. Trump trampling his way into the center of the news cycle — combined with ongoing revelations about his lawlessness, and ever more corrupt GOP defenses of it — could conceivably become a more pronounced factor than traditional midterm issues.”
Voters who have reservations about Biden, according to Waldman and Sargent, may have even greater reservations about far-right Republican candidates.
“Calming things down was what Biden promised when he ran in 2020,” the columnists note. “It hasn’t exactly worked out that way. But it’s becoming harder and harder for voters to overlook the fact that Republicans are to blame for that — including a newly vicious and unbound Donald Trump. Which could be good for Democrats.”
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