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Sunday marks 100 days until November’s midterm elections, and while 22 states will hold primary elections over the next seven weeks as the 2022 primary calendar comes to a close, attention is fast focusing on the high-stakes general election contests.
At stake in November is the control of Congress, which is narrowly held by Democrats.
Republicans are aiming to win back the majority in the House of Representatives they lost in the 2018 midterms.
The GOP needs a net gain of just five seats in the 435 member chamber to recapture the majority and nonpartisan political handicappers, including the Fox News Power Rankings, suggest Republicans will succeed in their mission — though recent polling indicates the fight will be close.
Nancy Pelosi of Calif., is the current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Nancy Pelosi currently serves as Speaker of the House of Representatives and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), is the majority leader of the House. Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is likely to seek the speakership if the GOP triumphs in the midterms.
The Senate is currently split 50/50 between the two major political parties, but Democrats control the majority due to the tie breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris through her constitutional role as president of the Senate.
In order to flip the Senate, the GOP needs a net gain of just one seat in November to retake the majority they lost in the Jan. 5, 2021 twin Senate runoff elections in Georgia.
Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is the Senate Majority Leader. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is the current Senate Majority Leader. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) plans on running for Schumer’s position if the Republicans gain control of the chamber in November.
Thirty-six states hold gubernatorial contests this November, and the GOP’s looking to increase their control of governor’s offices, as well as other statewide executive positions such as at attorney general and Secretary of State. Republicans are also aiming to expand their hold of state legislative chambers.
Democrats seeking hold onto their razor-thin congressional majorities face historical headwinds, as the party that wins the White House and controls Congress traditionally suffers defeat in the ensuing midterm election.
Making matters worse for Democrats is a hostile political climate for the party in power that is fueled by record inflation, reflected in extremely high gas, energy, and food prices, as well as President Biden’s deeply underwater approval ratings.
President Biden’s national approval rating hit a record low of 31% in July. (White House)
Inflation hit a 40-year-high of 9.1% in June, and the GDP data released Thursday revealed that the United States’ economy has, by definition, entered into a recession.
But pointing to the issues of gun violence, following a slate of high profile mass shootings in recent months, and abortion in the wake of the move by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, which sent the divisive issue of abortion regulation back to the states. Democrats see an energized electorate that will help them defy the current expectations by political prognosticators.
A recent Suffolk University/USA Today poll suggested that Democrats currently have a 4% edge over the GOP on the generic congressional ballot.
Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire.