Jim Crawford: Can Democrats still win in the midterms?

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 18, 2022

The 2022 midterm elections are five months away, a political eternity in the world of politics, but the Democrats face a difficult challenge to avoid losing their slim majorities in both the Senate and the House.

Polling consistently shows that, on a generic ballot, voters favor Republicans over Democrats. A brand-new FiveThirtyEight poll shows voters favoring Republicans by 44.7 percent over Democrats at 42.8 percent, a difference of 1.9 percent.

History also favors Republicans to gain seats in the midterms. On average, the minority party gains 23 seats in the House, more than enough to give Republicans a majority. The Senate outcome is considerably more complex, but if there is a Republican sweep this fall, the Senate would certainly also go to the Republicans.

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How can Democrats hope to win the people’s’ trust? Democrats have fought among themselves since winning the majority and other than a bipartisan infrastructure law passed, there has been little accomplished while the nation struggles with inflation, the ongoing pandemic, never-ending shootings of innocents and the loss of women’s rights over control of their bodies.

Additionally, President Joe Biden is not popular as the election approaches. His popularity is burdened by a hasty exit from Afghanistan and the perception that his age is limiting his energy to accomplish what is possible. All in all, it certainly looks like a bad time to be a Democrat.

Maybe not…2022 can be a year when Democrats reverse the trends of the past and hold both chambers of Congress. If you are a voter and you are outraged by the loss of control of your body, you can blame Republicans for that 100 percent.

You could win your rights back almost instantly in Congress, but for Republicans who will never vote to support the right to abortion. If you think the protection of the environment is important, then you should know Republicans are doing all that they can to stop environmental protections.

If you think our tax laws have favored the wealthiest Americans as evidenced by the accumulation of more and more assets in fewer and fewer Americans, then you can blame Republicans for that.

Republicans are not on the side of the American people on many issues, even most issues, and if they win the 2022 elections you can count on only two things, multiple congressional hearings about the 2020 election and Hunter Biden. If you hope for more from them, you will be disappointed.

But more must be accomplished for Democrats to prevail in 2022. Democrats need to accomplish meaningful help to the people this fall to hold majorities in both Houses.

Their opportunity is to use reconciliation in the Senate to pass a major bill reducing drug prices for all Americans and tag on to the bill additional funding for the ACA to keep premiums affordable for all Americans.

This would ensure that Americans can afford the medicines they need while creating a trillion dollars in reduced government spending. The savings would be allocated using 50 percent for deficit reduction and the balance for social programs support. The bill would also reverse some of the tax cuts granted the wealthiest Americans in the 2017 Republican tax bill.

Democrats can win in 2022. A new Morning Consult poll shows Democrats favored over Republicans 46 percent to 42 percent, despite all the bad news of 2022.

Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.