Democratic Party prospects look bleak for the 2022 midterm elections and could further worsen. This is the dire assessment of a political consultant who advised former President Bill Clinton.
Douglas Schoen predicts House and Senate Democrats face a major defeat next time Americans cast their ballots. Schoen, who also advised Michael Bloomberg’s 2020 presidential campaign, believes significant changes are required to avoid this outcome.
Schoen cited a recent Civiqs survey that shows more voters disapprove of Joe Biden’s performance in the Oval Office by a margin of 7 points, or greater, nationally and in seven key swing states. Half of voters across the United States disapprove of the incumbent’s work while 42% approve.
Biden is also in a significantly weaker position than predecessors Clinton and Barack Obama during the same point in their respective first terms. This suggests the Democrats could suffer greater losses than the party did back in 1994 and 2010, according to the consultant’s opinion article published by The Hill.
At the same point in Obama’s first term, his net approval rating was 19 points higher than Biden’s. Most voters (52%) approved of Obama’s performance while 41% disapproved.
This sentiment was reflected in different midterm elections. In 2010, Democrats lost a net of 64 House seats and Republicans gained six Senate seats. In 1994, Democrats lost a net of 52 House seats while the GOP picked up eight Senate seats.
These losses happened despite the same Gallup survey showing Clinton had a 47% approval rating compared to 42% who disapproved on Sept. 12, 1993. At the time his net approval rating was 13 points higher than Biden’s rating at the same point in presidency.
Schoen blames massive government spending and tax bills in previous years for causing the Democrats’s blowout midterm defeats in 1994 and 2010.
In 1994, the Democrats lost after pushing through Congress the largest tax increase in history at the time without GOP support. In 2010, the Democratic Party suffered from poor voter perceptions of arguably ineffective economic stimulus measures. Government overreach on health care and the economy was also poorly received.
“Simply put, the current 2022 outlook for Democrats is grim–and it could get even worse,” Schoen said according to the paper. “If the Biden administration continues to push unnecessarily big government spending initiatives and tax increases, along with weak immigration policies and an incoherent foreign policy strategy, Democrats could suffer the most substantial midterm loss of any party in recent history.”
Recent polls show voters are increasingly critical of the Biden administration’s handling of the economy, COVID-19 pandemic, border crisis, and U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“With congressional Democrats having approved a budget blueprint in their $3.5 trillion spending bill–which will bring massive tax increases and will likely increase the debt, deficit and inflation–the electoral backlash against Democrats could be even more substantial than in both 1994 and 2010,” Schoen said according to the paper.
The consultant warned Biden’s dwindling approval rating in the same key swing states he won in 2020 are hurting the party’s 2022 reelection prospects.
Biden’s approval dropped both nationally and in key states mainly due to dissatisfied independent voters who helped him win in 2020.
“This data is clearly troubling for Democrats, especially when taken together with the fact that the mere circumstances of the 2022 midterms are challenging for the party,” Schoen said.
He suspects Republicans only need to pick up five House seats and, with some redistricting, this could deliver a severe blow to Democrats.
Only twice in history has the president’s party gained seats in the midterm elections. In 1998 and 2002 both serving presidents had approval ratings exceeding 60 percent. Even so, they were only meager House seat gains.