The loss of Virginia and the drastic fall of votes in New Jersey set off the alarms to a year of the ‘midterms’
The Democratic Party received on Tuesday the first notices in the form of votes of what could happen to it in the midterms parliamentary elections, scheduled for November 2022, with especially symbolic defeats such as that of Virginia and that seem to reflect the rapid wear on the popularity of the president, Joe Biden.
The tenant of the White House prevailed in Virginia a year ago, in the presidential elections of November 3, 2020, by more than ten points against then-president Donald Trump. However, Democrats have not been able to retain a seat currently held by Ralph Northam.
Terry McAuliffe, who already ruled Virginia between 2014 and 2018, seemed the dominator of the electoral race, but it has finally been his Republican rival, Glenn Youngkin, who has taken the lead – by a margin of about two percentage points, according to CNN projections.
Youngkin, who has promised a “transformation”, has managed to convince the electorate with concrete proposals on education and the economy, mobilizing especially rural and traditionally conservative areas.
Faced with a Democratic Party that would be more focused on carrying out great laws, for example to promote social spending from the White House and Congress, the Republican has opted for a campaign more focused on immediate needs and in which he has tried to get away of the long shadow that former President Donald Trump still casts.
Although Trump has endorsed Youngkin in the gubernatorial race – and has been quick to celebrate his victory once confirmed – the former president never traveled to Virginia to join the candidate, as Biden did with his candidate, who in the The campaign linked the Republican candidate with the former president on numerous occasions.
Another of the states at stake was New Jersey, where Biden beat Trump a year ago with a margin of 16 points and where his current governor, Democrat Phil Murphy, had won the 2017 elections with 14 points of difference compared to his rival. However, New Jersey has dawned on Wednesday without a clear winner, with Murphy leading just four tenths over Republican Jack Ciattarelli, according to CNN.
The Democrats have been able to claim victory in New York, where former police officer Eric Adams has clearly imposed himself and will be the new mayor, and in Boston, which will have for the first time a woman at the head of the City Council, Michelle Wu, of Taiwanese descent .
THE READING OF THE ELECTIONS
Before the first results were known, Biden was confident in a press conference that the Democrats would win back Virginia and New Jersey, although he recognized that they would be “tight” elections and warned of the reduction in participation.
Likewise, he ruled out that a possible defeat had to do with his management and indicated that he has not seen “any evidence” of “doing it right or wrong.” “Whether I have my agenda approved or not, it is not going to have any real impact on winning or losing (the elections),” he said.
Analysts, however, are already striving to examine the future consequences of this election day, not so much because of the resounding defeats, since the margin between candidates has been rather narrow, but because of what they represent in terms of a possible trend. Not surprisingly, in November 2022 the entire House of Representatives and a third of the Senate will be renewed.
At the national level, recent weeks have been marked by an internal pulse from the Democrats on account of the social spending plan, which Biden agreed to cut to 1.75 trillion dollars – half of the initial budget – to satisfy the critical voices of his own party.
“The Democrats have to stop fighting each other and start focusing on the voters. If not, (the elections of) 2022 are going to be brutal,” a political strategist of the party has warned in statements to the Politico news portal, anticipating what that may be to come.
Congressman Gerry Connolly has wondered how the 10-point margin that Biden achieved in 2021 could “evaporate” in Virginia and believes that it is time to analyze what happened to “be prepared” for November, according to NBC News.
Democrats are confident that in a few months the situation will be different, once Biden’s abstract promises on social support begin to become tangible and the COVID-19 pandemic is more contained, since health authorities have already given light green to vaccinate children over five years of age.
It also remains to be seen how the image of the president will hold up during this time, weighed down in recent months by key issues such as the chaotic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The level of support for Biden hovers around 43 percent, according to a poll published Tuesday by The Hill that reflects a five-point drop from September.
The assessment of the Democratic Party as a whole is worse, since only 38 percent of the people interviewed in this poll by Harvard CAPS approve of his management, compared to 55 percent who are against it.