It's been more than a year today since the January 6th insurrection at the US Capitol. The violence was a futile attempt to try to overturn the election of Joe Biden by former president Trump supporters. After a hotly contested poll and quite frankly one of the most divisive in US history, we are heading to the polls once again, this time around for the midterms.
A lot has happened since the inauguration of Biden and while the president is not on the ballot in 2022, several key races could shape the administration's policy in the coming two years.
As things stand, Democrats enjoy a slight majority in the US Senate and Congress. But despite this, the Democrats have struggled to move Biden’s agenda due to moderate democrats who have opposed every radical move by the White House.
Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema have proved to be the biggest stumbling blocks for Biden’s agenda. So, even with that slight majority, Democrats will be hoping for good fortunes in the 2022 mid-terms to retain their majority or render Sinema and Manchin ineffective.
But looking at the seats up for re-election, this is not going to be easy. The election is about 10 months away and as things stand, the GOP looks poised to retake control of the House and the Senate.
But it will also be a very interesting time for the Republican Party. The GOP is still Trump's party. The former president has declared war on certain GOP candidates by backing their opponents in the primary. Standing up against Trump is a death sentence as far as getting the GOP ticket goes.
The GOP will be looking at two key races in their efforts to flip the Senate. They include Georgia and Arizona where Democrats won in 2020 and 2018 respectively.
Biden did carry both these states in 2020 by a very small margin in Georgia. But with the president’s approval numbers in the decline, it will be hard to bet on Biden voters to keep those two traditionally red states blue. There are also a few competitive seats in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. It is also important to note that 5 republican senators are retiring.
These are mostly moderate GOP members who have at times been at odds with Trump. The former President is already backing their primary challengers and any new GOP senators will likely be hard-core Trump supporters from the far right. 36 members of the House are also not seeking re-election, including long-time Trump supporter David Nunez from California.
There is the issue of COVID and how it may affect the polls. So far, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have pushed back their primaries due to the increasing threat of Omicron. We may see a surge in mail-in voting albeit some US states have put more restrictions on it.
The Georgia Governor’s run by Democrat Stacy Abrams is also one to watch in 2022 and the GOP primaries as well in Texas and Alaska.