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United States: Midterms Will Reveal Biden's Popularity

On November 8, the elections for the Senate and House will be held in the North American country, elections that will indirectly reflect the approval of the presidency of Joe Biden

Woman voting in the United States

Photo: Getty Images

Latinamerican Post | David García Pedraza

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Leer en español: Estados Unidos: Las elecciones legislativas que revelarán la imagen de Joe Biden ante el país

Almost two years ago, Joe Biden was elected president of the United States in the midst of a pandemic that paralyzed the planet for more than a year. During 2020, elections were held that focused on destroying the opponent's image, not on campaign ideas and plans. However, with 306 electoral votes and more than 80 million voters, the Democratic party claimed victory at the head of Biden and Kamala Harris, his vice-presidential formula. After four years of Republican rule by Donald Trump, the American majority expected a significant change in their daily lives, however, it has been a slow transition.

With an approval margin of 38% in July 2022, Biden was affected by two situations in particular: the first is the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in August 2021, where the Taliban regime wasted no time in taking power from the Asian country, a situation that marked the defeat of the West against this group. The second is related to the rising prices of food and gasoline, which has given rise to the highest inflation in four decades. As the United States is a nation relatively admired for its economic and military power, these two pillars were on the ground in the midst of the Biden administration, hence the cause of his low approval rating. However, August 2022 would be the beginning of the change in this downward trend.

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Slowly but surely, Biden's image is strengthened

With the neutralization of the leader of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, and the reduction of the unemployment rate in the country to 3.5%, the lowest in half a century,  the administration of Biden has gradually gained ground in the approval of his mandate reaching 44% at the end of August. This means that it rose 6 points in a month, a moderate figure, but encouraging at a time when the elections for Congress are approaching.

In addition to this, the approval of the 'Inflation Reduction Law' package approved by the Senate, which establishes reductions in drug costs, federal and climate policies relevant to the situation, and aid for university loans, among others, further boosted Biden's favorable image. The US president went from 78% to 81% approval among his Democratic supporters and from 31% to 40% among Americans who consider themselves independent.

Biden has worked hard to recover from the military and diplomatic defeat in Afghanistan, dealing heavy blows to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, in addition to that, at an economic and labor level, the employability figures in 2022 support him positively.

What's coming in the November elections

Currently, the Democratic Party, having majorities in both chambers (Senate and House of Representatives), is considered to be of vital help in supporting the projects of the Biden administration, also a Democrat. However, these elections have this majority on the line because Americans do not see an improvement in their quality of life, despite the fact that employability figures say otherwise. But a recovery by the Republicans will reinforce the implementation of policies of the conservative agenda such as abortion. 60% of Americans expect Congress to change the Supreme Court's decision to annul Roe vs. Wade that guaranteed women the right to abortion, according to a survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

However, several Democratic congressmen, who were moving away from Biden so that their individual image would not be damaged in the face of the elections, have returned to strengthen the support of the president thanks to the rise in his popularity in the month of August. Some continue to keep their distance, especially in states where the margin between Democrats and Republicans is very close, such as Pennsylvania, frequently visited by Donald Trump.

According to estimates from insiders of American politics, the Democrats will have no losses in the Senate, where they are tied at 50 senators, but Vice President Harris breaks the tie. However, in the House of Representatives, they would allow themselves to lose two seats, mostly from the states of Georgia, Arizona or Nevada. Likewise, it will also depend on the ability of the Republican party, and especially its leader Donald Trump, to exploit the weaknesses of the current government and recover some of the two chambers and also state positions that will be vital for the 2024 presidential campaign.

Biden VS Trump two years after the election

As Joe Biden struggles to raise his approval ratings ahead of the November race, and perhaps re-election in 2024, Donald Trump loses a bit of his favorable image over the scandals involving confidential documents found at his Florida property, which has made independent majorities support the Democratic Party.

Biden has toughened his rhetoric by calling Trump and his political cronies "semi-fascists," while the Republican party precariously gives the Biden administration a 4% approval rating. As their political debates were, Trump and Biden continue to attack each other and it is expected that both will meet again in the presidential race in 2024, Biden as a supporter of Democratic continuity and Trump with indirect revenge for losing re-election, in addition to being the most representative face of the Republican party.

The November elections will mark the next step in the favoritism dispute between Biden and Trump (rather than between Democrats and Republicans), in addition to the results showing the support or failure of the Biden administration by US citizens.