Red Tsunami

Why a Major GOP Victory Should Be Expected in the 2022 Midterms


Ronan Smith

To the Ballot Box: A voter parking sign sits outside of Harborside Middle School, a polling place, August 11, 2020.

          In 2020, the United States saw a massive wave of Democratic politicians elected to office, including no less than the president, Joe Biden. However, in November of 2021, following an election in New Jersey won ever so closely by Phil Murphy, and an election which saw the “safe” blue state of Virginia elect a strong Republican (GOP) governor, it became clear that the overwhelming positive opinion of Americans on the president and his party only one year earlier, had begun to fall, and fall hard. 

          Much of this can be attributed to two major effects: inflation and foreign policy. Inflation includes both the quickly increasing cost of food and fuel, as well as the overprinting of money to pay for pandemic-era bills.

          Inflation affects all nations, and when it is allowed to grow out of control it can be destructive to a currency and economy. 

          According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), “Inflation is the rate of increase in prices over a given period of time.”

          One of the reasons for inflation that is quite common is that more money is printed, yet the overall value of all bills remains the same. Another is that due to government intervention in the economy, such as limiting sales of certain products, adding tariffs, or changing regulations on certain industries, prices go up to accommodate these changes. This can be from very little, such as 2%, to well over 100%.

          In a blog post by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) published in January of this year, they stated “Over the past four months, lumber prices have nearly tripled, causing the price of an average new single-family home to increase by more than $18,600.”

          While lumber is an extreme example, smaller increases have affected the price of food, especially meat and wheat, as well as one of the most impactful: gas.

          In Connecticut this hit hard. Gas hit a statewide average of $4.48 on March 11, the highest ever recorded in CT history, according to AAA. With higher gas prices and higher cost of living more generally, an average American’s disposable income, and thus, what gets reinvested into the economy falters and shrinks, in turn slowly siphoning off the economy’s power.

          Much of the blame for this economic downturn, as well as the rise in general costs has fallen at the feet of President Biden, with opponents noting the closing of the Keystone XL pipeline in regards to gas. 

          As well, opponents often mention the highly expensive American Rescue Plan Act, costing 1.9 trillion, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, costing 1.2 trillion, in regards to federal overspending leading to currency inflation to cover the costs.

          Overall inflation in the last year has vastly increased, and is now sitting at 8.3%, and it is important to note that a “healthy” inflation as deemed by the Federal Reserve is roughly 2%.

          It is also important to look at how rare it is for a ruling party to not lose midterm seats. With the Democratic Party’s weak hold on the House, and nearly non-existent hold on the Senate due to Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, (who often caucus with Republicans on certain topics) the normal loss of seats may be expanded to a large Republican wave of victories.

          “Looking at history, and a recent Brookings Institute analysis of midterm elections over the last 80 years, the party in power loses seats in the midterms. (With the exception of 2002 and 1998) The Democrats currently hold 221 House seats and the Republicans hold 209. It is very likely that due to the President’s decline in job approval, that the party out of power can pick up the seats needed to gain control in the House.” says History Department Head Mr. Austin Cesare.

          This slight lead in Congress will almost certainly cause the midterms to have a major change in power. Despite this, it is unlikely that Republicans will win much in blue states, though not out of possibility.

          Cesare continues, stating, “It would be an uphill battle for Republicans in these traditional “blue” states. Connecticut hasn’t elected a Republican governor since the early 2000s when Governor Rell was elected, and the US Senate seats in Connecticut haven’t been held by the Republicans since Senator Lowell Weicker held one in the 1980s. There would need to be a major shift in Connecticut voter preferences toward the GOP for that to happen. California would equally be a challenge for the Republicans to win. I don’t see it happening but with history and current economic conditions, you never know.”