In both houses, the Democrats have a wafer thin majority to pass legislation…writes Ashe O
Former President Bill Clinton said Democrats can retain control of Congress in the 2022 midterms, but warned Republicans will “scare the living daylights out of swing voters”.
The Congress – the House of Representatives goes to the polls to elect all of the 435 members and the Senate is on the ballot for 30 of its 100 seats.
A lot of Mayoral and Gubernatorial posts are up for grabs and both parties are struggling to retain their candidates with the backlash of inflation and MAGA campaign frittering out to save democracy threats sounded by the liberals.
In both houses, the Democrats have a wafer thin majority to pass legislation. In the Senate, Republicans and Democrats are divided 50:50 but the Vice President casts the tie breaking vote to give the Democrats the advantage on passing legislation with a simple majority.
“We could hold both these houses, but we have to say the right things because we know the Republicans can always close well,” Bill Clinton said in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.
He was asked if Democrats, who have seen encouraging signs about their midterm prospects in recent weeks, can break the decades-long trend of the President’s party losing control of Congress in the midterm elections.
“Absolutely, we could hold both these Houses, but we have to say the right things,” Clinton told CNN in the interview, which aired Sunday. “And we have to know the Republicans always close well. Why? Because they find some new way to scare the living daylights out of swing voters about something. That’s what they did in 2021 when they made critical race theory sounds.
“They just scare people,” Clinton said. “And in the end, the breakpoint in American politics is not that much different than the 90s. You still have to get those people, it’s just that there’s so many fewer of them, because as the parties have gotten more ideological and clear and somehow psychically intolerant, they pull more and more people towards the extremes.”
Increased polarisation and partisanship since Clinton held office in the 1990s means fewer persuadable swing voters and fewer willing to cross party lines. The 2020 election, for example, saw record-low numbers of voters splitting their tickets between electors. But still “there’s some people who are hanging on there and trying to think, and trying to understand what’s going on,” the former President said in the interview.
Republicans face a potential backlash in November after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on abortion rights bringing women electors together. A new WSJ poll shows Democrats gaining ground among independents, young and women voters.
Republicans spent much of the year pummeling Democrats on inflation and hoping to cruise on a “red wave” in the November midterm elections. But the huge swell they once envisioned may end up being more of a ripple instead, the Business Insider said in an analysis.
Part of it may also be tied to recent Democratic victories on their economic and climate agenda, gun safety, and improved healthcare access for veterans.
Some Republican lawmakers have released proposals meant to showcase the party’s support for families in more modest ways, reflecting a conservative reluctance to back a sizable expansion of the safety net. The GOP has staunchly opposed President Joe Biden’s ambitious proposals for childcare, paid leave, and monthly checks to parents.