Democrats fear that they are on track to lose their Congressional majorities in the 2022 elections as President Biden’s approval ratings continue to slump and the party agenda fails to translate into workable policy. Representative James Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, has said that he fears that his party lacks “the will to win in 2022” and he is not the only one with concerns about the perilous state of Democratic control in the House and Senate.
Majorities increasingly frail
Their struggle to pass Biden’s spending plan is only one of several indications that the Democrats might take serious losses in the midterm elections next year.
Clyburn suggested that progressives should move to reconcile with moderates in the party before internal divisions sap their collective will to win in 2022.
Most of his party is feels otherwise; progressive Democrats are increasingly losing patience with the moderates who have held up pieces of their agenda in Congress.
The worst news for the party is the fact that approval ratings for Biden have come to be consistently mediocre and show no signs of recovering any time soon.
Midterm elections are always difficult for the party of the incumbent president. If approval ratings are as low as they are for Biden, the president’s party is almost guaranteed to take significant losses.
Even the loss of a few seats in the House and Senate will be devastating to Democrats, who are finding it difficult enough to accomplish anything with their fragile current majorities.
Potential for significant GOP gains
There is every reason to believe that Biden’s approval ratings will continue to drop and that the Democrats will lose their majorities next year.
Republicans will have more Senate seats to defend in 2022 but the advantages granted by having an unpopular opponent in the White House will likely be enough to compensate for that.
Regardless of what happens in 2022, it seems clear that Congress will still not be in any position to accomplish much.
If Biden and his party want to achieve anything significant during his term they will have to present the kind of united front which Clyburn hopes for.
Unfortunately for Democrats, that seems to be as unlikely as a recovery in Biden’s approval ratings in the foreseeable future.
Dissent between factions within the party will only be exacerbated if each side finds reasons to blame the other for a poor performance in 2022.