The midterm elections in the United States are approaching, and the trend is not good for Joe Biden. The president could well lose all maneuvering and find himself blocked until 2024.
Joe Biden soon without room for maneuver in Congress? In six months to the day, on November 8, the Democrat will face the midterm elections. An always delicate moment for the tenants of the White House, but which could well turn into a nightmare for the current president, stuck in a negative trend for many months.
Already in difficulty due to his very narrow majority, Joe Biden could thus lose control of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which are essential to be able to legislate in the United States. If ever these two bodies fell under the control of the Republicans, the American president would find himself unable to pass laws, and this until the end of his mandate.
To avoid this scenario, his camp was counting on a strong comeback of the economy after the pandemic. And if the unemployment rate decreases well, inflation, it climbs without interruption. With the conflict in Ukraine, the curve is unlikely to reverse, and it could cost Joe Biden dearly: 76% of Americans believe that he bears responsibility for this upward price trend, according to a poll The Economist/YouGov broadcast this Tuesday.
Beyond inflation, these opinion polls are also the main indicator that can worry the Democrats as the elections approach. Indeed, Joe Biden is more unpopular than ever, averaging just 42.2% approval at the start of May according to Five Thirty Eight – significantly below most US presidents at this point in their term, according to the site which compiles the various American polls on the question.
The Democrat has been in freefall since last July, when he was still above 52% on average. A period that coincides with the American departure from Afghanistan.
“Foreign policy is supposed to be its trademark, that’s when its image began to deteriorate,” analyzes Olivier Richomme, specialist in the United States and lecturer at Lyon 2 University.
By comparison, even Barack Obama, who suffered a dramatic setback in the 2010 midterm elections, was boasting more glorious popularity numbers at the same time.
The Supreme Court to remobilize?
Disappointed or tired Democratic voters could move less in November, unlike in 2020, unlike the conservatives, who want their revenge after the last presidential election.
At this point, the only thing that seems able to prevent this debacle is a remobilization of the Democratic electorate in the face of the conservative push, illustrated by the probable challenge to the right to abortion at the federal level by the Supreme Court in the coming weeks. “This can have an impact, and in particular motivate the American female electorate. The symbolism is very important”, assures Olivier Richomme.
The Democrats could therefore use the fear of this Supreme Court more conservative than ever, boosted by a Republican party still under the influence of Donald Trump. If the news is “blessed bread” for Joe Biden according to the researcher, then the Democrats would not benefit from a “joining vote”, but rather from a “vetting vote”. The useful vote with American sauce.