The American expression “When it rains it rains” (which can be translated as “a misfortune does not come alone”) perfectly describes the situation in which Joe Biden found himself at the beginning of the summer. With a strong inflationthe challenging women’s rights, assumptions around his replacement, a stalled political program and the continuation of the war in Ukrainestorms follow one another over the head of the man who, two years ago, promised to rebuild and comfort America.
After a first year in office that has been largely praised by analysts despite a stalemate in recent months and the tumultuous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Democratic president may not feel the need to face it. series of internal and external crises when he opened the first page of the year. 2022. Sometimes helpless, sometimes inexplicable, Joe Biden is out of control and appears to be caught in an endless vortex, slowly dragging his administration and his majority into a unpopular record only five months from the most important midterm elections.
But after the rain comes the good weather. To everyone’s surprise, the situation turned around in a few weeks. The tenant of the White House and his family will return to strength and reposition themselves for the next election. If meteorologists maintain a low confidence index, Washington’s skies will slowly darken. The clouds are now giving way to the first sunshine of the year, and the hitherto gloomy faces of the members of the Democratic family are returning to color.
Will that be enough for the president to retain his majority in Congress? Not sure, but the Republican tidal wave that has been heralded for months should be less significant than expected.
Abortion, a hot topic for Republicans
The Supreme Court’s challenge to federal abortion rights protections is undoubtedly a major victory for the conservative camp, which has fought for nearly half a century to be denied from famous case Roe v. wade. By passing the money to the States, the highest judicial institution in the country has effectively created two americas and put millions of women in trouble. Above all, it is challenging wind of anger to a large part of the population; even if it doesn’t show itself in the streets, it can be felt in the polls next November.
This decision even seems like a real poison gift for the Republican Party, the news that most voters and elected officials celebrated in June. In Kansas, a right-wing state where Donald Trump won in 2016 and 2020, this possibility was first realized on August 2. The public is invited to decided by referendum of a change in the local Constitution, which would open the way to a severe restriction of the right to abortion. The vote came as a bombshell: By voting 59 percent against, residents sent a clear signal to the Republican-controlled state legislature.
Above all, it appears that the subject has mobilize voters, which is enough to scare analysts and candidates of the Grand Old Party because it is a sign that abortion can become a terrible campaign theme to convince independents, oh so important to winning an election, to choose the Democratic candidates on November 3 . So if the cultural war is won by conservatives thanks to the Supreme Court, the political price to be paid remains one of the unknowns of the next election. And the Democratic Party seems determined to push through the bill.
Significant political gains
Everything is going very well for Joe Biden and the Democrats at the end of July, beginning of August. A few days before the encouraging result from Kansas, Congress passed the CHIPS Act, a major law intended to increase the production of semiconductors in the United States and to stimulate innovation, with the key to more than 50 billion dollars (or 50 billion euros. ) in investments in the direction of the American high technology industry.
Later, the United States announced the death of the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, after a drone strike on an apartment in Kabul. Wanted for more than ten years, Osama bin Laden’s successor was one of the masterminds of the September 11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States. It was the result of a new legislative victory that appeared on the President’s desk: the signing of a law, the PACT Actto pay for access to health care for former soldiers exposed to toxic fumes.
But the adoption of Congress in a historical plan for climate and health, the Inflation Reduction Act, which Joe Biden has wanted since he entered the White House, is undoubtedly the pinnacle of this sequence and one of the most significant moments of his presidency. Signed on August 16, this law is an important victory for the Democratic camp three months before the midterm elections. More importantly, it puts the United States back at the center of the fight against global warming with nearly $380 billion in investment over the next decade, and should enable the world’s leading powers to come closer to the commitments made in during the signing of the Paris agreement. .
Finally, to end the summer in style, a partial cancellation of American student debt was judged by the White House (10,000 dollars per borrower whose annual income does not exceed 125,000 dollars), as well as extending the suspension of its payment until January 2023. A measure that will allow millions of moderate Americans to see their debt sudden decline. Joe Biden promised it during the campaign, he did it.
The message sent to the voters is clear and can be translated as follows: “We act while our opponents are mired in scandals, vote us out.”
A bright spot at the polls
These various gains, coupled with a prices continue to decline gasoline and a possible slowdown inflation, giving a breath of fresh air to the tenant of the White House and his majority. Despite the economic risksthe unemployment rate remained at historically low levels, reassuring observers about the state of health of the American economy. The president’s popularity rating has risen again after several months of decline, rising to just over 40%. according to survey aggregator FiveThirtyEight.
This same institute, which also produces forecasting tools for various national elections and especially mid-term elections, makes it possible to realize this good dynamic. The probability of retaining a majority in at least one of the two houses of Congress has increased over the past two months. The model now provides 62% chance for Democrats to maintain or increase their dominance in the Senate, compared to 50% at the end of June.
In the House of Representatives, the numbers are also improving, but remain too low (21%) to consider a change in the current situation. However, there is hope again; Pollsters are no longer ruling out a surprise. What re-energized the troops after nearly a year of depression.
Can Joe Biden continue to reform the country until 2024? See you in early November to find out.