The midterm elections in the United States
What are midterm elections?
Midterm elections take place halfway through the presidential term, defining who will represent US citizens in the two chambers of Congress: the Senate, with six-year terms, and the House of Representatives, with two-year terms. According to Gary Nordlinger, professor of politics at George Washington University, whoever controls the Senate or House controls the agenda (US Embassy, 2018), explaining the importance of elections and how the result defines how the current president will be able to complete his term.
The 2022 midterm elections
In November 2022, the midterm elections were held in the United States, featuring a surprise victory for the Democratic Party. Still with a Senate vacancy to be defined in December in the state of Georgia, the Democrats won 50 of the 100 seats available, that is, even if the Republicans win the remaining vacancy and equalize the number of representatives, the casting vote in cases of tie will be for Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris. Thus, even though the House of Representatives is projected to have a Republican majority, it is possible to notice the clear advantage that the Democratic Party and current President Joe Biden have in this second half of their term, facilitating the approval of laws and the confirmation of presidential appointments. .
Thus, it has been heavily speculated what the consequences of the apparent weakening of the Republican Party will be: will former President Donald Trump really announce his candidacy for 2024? Will Ron DeSantis, the re-elected governor of Florida, present himself as an opposition to Trump within his own Party? And finally, would these elections be an indication that the Republican Party needs restructuring to be able to sustain itself? All valid questions, which, however, will only be answered with the definitive end of the mid-term elections and the start of the presidential campaigns for 2024.
Economic consequences of the midterm elections
One of the main themes that permeated the midterm elections in the United States was the economy, more specifically, inflation. Joe Biden was elected president of the country in 2020 with the speech of restoring the economy and, although he faced turmoil related to the global scenario (such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the War in Ukraine), he was able to pass laws that helped create sustainable green energy, lower fuel prices and increase job creation. All this, however, was not enough to calm the inflationary situation in the USA and this fact was heavily used in the republican campaign speech.
However, this did not prevent the Democratic victory in the elections. According to experts at investment bank Morgan Stanley, although a divided government is generally seen as a benign neglect of the financial market, if there is a Republican victory in both Houses of Congress, the chances of economic stagnation would be very high. Furthermore, they concluded that it is possible to see this result as permission for the Democratic party to ease the political and legislative restrictions that prevented Congress from enacting some fiscally expansionist policies…” (Morgan Stanley, 2022), explaining a favorable scenario in the face of the election result. .
By: Maria Eduarda Chiang on 12/06/2022