Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections. There are some favorable signs for Democrats in the 2022 midterms.
Bad signal for Dems. Ben Winck and Madison Hoff at Business Insider:
Data out Friday shows sky-high prices starting to chip away at households' safety nets. Real disposable personal income per capita — the cash each American can spend after taxes and inflation — slid through June to $45,356 from $45,505, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced. That's the lowest since March 2020, when the immediate hit from the coronavirus pandemic powered widespread job loss. It's also below the highs seen just before the crisis began, signaling households are worse off financially than at the end of the last economic cycle.
As The Times’s chief political analyst, Nate Cohn, explains, recent news is actually helping Democrats in some ways: This summer, the Supreme Court has handed the right significant victories on abortion, climate policy, religious rights and gun laws, galvanizing voters who lean Democratic on those issues and shifting the national political discourse away from the Republican Party’s preferred turf of immigration, crime and school curriculums. Recent mass shootings have also played a role in this shift.
In the past several years, the Republican Party has made inroads with less affluent, less educated voters while shedding support among higher-income, higher-educated voters. As a result, the electoral playing field has become less tilted toward Republicans, according to Nicholas Stephanopoulos, a law professor at Harvard who focuses on redistricting and demographic trends. While “the conventional wisdom has it that Democrats are disadvantaged in redistricting because of their inefficient over-concentration in cities,” he told Thomas B. Edsall, a contributing writer for Times Opinion, “the Trump era seems to have changed the country’s political geography in ways that are beneficial to Democrats.”
Republicans are also reconfiguring their relationship with Donald Trump, whose grip on the party isn’t as strong as it once was, particularly as the fallout from the House Jan. 6 investigation compounds. According to the Times/Siena College poll, nearly half of Republican primary voters would prefer someone other than Trump for president in 2024. As Jake Lahut reports for Insider, that fault line has created potential pitfalls for Trump-backed Senate candidates, like Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and Herschel Walker in Georgia, who have won their primaries but have struggled to break away in general election matchups against their Democratic opponents.
The odds: According to Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, Republicans have roughly the same chance of reclaiming a Senate majority as Democrats do of retaining theirs. In the House, though, Republicans are still heavily favored. Why? House candidates are both more numerous and more anonymous than Senate candidates, Silver explains, so voters’ feelings about the national political environment tend to be determinative.
As The Times’s David Leonhardt wrote this month, “If Democrats keep the Senate without the House, they still would not be able to pass legislation without Republican support.” But, he added: “Senate control nonetheless matters. It would allow President Biden to appoint judges, Cabinet secretaries and other top officials without any Republican support, because only the Senate needs to confirm nominees.”