The following is an excerpt from Gallup News.
The political environment for the 2022 midterm elections should work to the benefit of the Republican Party, with all national mood indicators similar to, if not worse than, what they have been in other years when the incumbent party fared poorly in midterms.
Heading into Election Day, 40% of Americans approve of the job Joe Biden is doing as president, 17% are satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S., 49% describe the health of the economy as poor (compared with 14% saying it is excellent or good), and 21% approve of the job the Democratically led Congress is doing.
Current ratings of the U.S. economy and national satisfaction are the lowest Gallup has measured at the time of a midterm election over the life of these polling trends, starting in 1994 and 1982, respectively.
Congressional and presidential job approval are near their historical low marks.
Key Indicators and Seat Losses in U.S. Representatives for President's Party in Recent Midterm Election Years
Values are for final pre-election measures (usually October or November).
President Biden's Job Approval Rating
The political peril of a party led by an unpopular president is apparent in the fact that the incumbent president's party has lost seats in every midterm election when his approval rating has been below 50%.
Seat losses in the House of Representatives for unpopular presidents' parties have averaged 37 since 1946.
Biden's 40% job approval rating is higher than only one other recent president at the time of a midterm election -- George W. Bush in 2006, at 38%.
Further back in history, Harry Truman also had sub-40% approval ratings in both of his midterm elections, in 1946 (33%) and 1950 (39%).
Only two presidents since World War II saw their party gain House seats in midterms -- Bill Clinton in 1998 and Bush in 2002.
Those presidents had 66% and 63% approval ratings, the highest and tied-for-second-highest preelection midterm ratings in Gallup's trends.
Although Democrats are poised to lose seats in the House, the losses may not be as large as a 40% job approval rating, by itself, would predict.
That's because the Democratic Party currently holds a bare majority in the House (220 seats), compared with the much more robust majorities (over 250 seats) they had going into the 1994 and 2010 midterms when Republicans picked up more than 50 seats.
Midterm elections usually favor the party that is out of power -- and if that pattern holds, the Republican Party will win back their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, if not also the U.S. Senate.
The Democrats are especially vulnerable this year because the national mood is as bad, if not worse, than it has been in any recent midterm election year.
The wild card in midterm elections is voter turnout. Historically, Republicans have had a structural advantage in midterm years because Republicans have been more likely than Democrats to vote.
However, that advantage wasn't present in 2018, and Gallup's new data suggest neither party currently has an advantage in attention to the campaigns, which is often a key indicator of turnout.
Read more of Gallup's analysis here.
Leave a Reply