2022 midterms after a Biden win. Can Democrats avoid 1994 and 2010 part 3?

Let’s speculate on the 2022 midterms. With 1 month to go for this year’s Election Day I thought it might be an interesting topic. Here are the two scenarios to consider.

  1. Biden wins and the Democrats take the senate narrowly, let’s say 51-49. What can Biden and the congressional Democrats do to prevent 2022 being a repeat of 1994 and 2010?

  2. Biden wins and the Democrats don’t take the senate. They close the gap, but when all the votes are counted, the result is 49-51. Democrats won in AZ, CO, MI, and ME, but lost MT, IA, NC and all the other races that may be even slightly competitive. Poor Doug Jones down in AL lost as well. In this scenario, the question is not just can Democrats avoid losing the house in 2022, but could they take the Senate at that time?

Things to keep in mind. For the Senate, Democrats have a good 2022 map. Republicans will be defending 22 seats and the Democrats only 10. Republicans will be up in purple states like PA, WI, OH, NC, and FL. The most competitive states a Democrat will be up in are NV and NH. In a vacuum I like that map, but remember how 1994 and 2010 went.

Then there is the House. Redistricting makes that harder to predict, but there should be a few positives. Virginia is likely to be de-gerrymandered by their Democratically controlled state government. Democratic governors in places like PA and NC should at the least keep the gerrymandering from getting worse. The big red states are also already heavily gerrymandered, with little room to make things worse. But again, remember 1994 and 2010.

Overall, then, the questions is this. What do Democrats need to do to keep control of Congress / gain control of the Senate in the 2022 midterms?

I have a hypothesis as to why 1994 and 2010 happened the way they did, but to avoid focusing the discussion on just that one are, I will hold off on posting it for now.

Also, let’s not consider the scenarios where Trump wins. We’re almost certainly screwed as a country if that happens. There is little point in debating the 2022 midterms for a country that would likely no longer be a real democracy by that time.

I think the Dems have a good chance in 2022. Not only do the Reps have a lot of eats to defend (the ones they won in 2016), but Pat Toomey of PA is retiring. SCOTUS will eliminate Obamacare and the Dems can run on a better version that can avoid the court challenge. While Obamacare was a drag on the party in 2010 (for reasons I can’t comprehend) its loss will drag the Reps down in 2022.

This is all under the assumption that they control the senate and get rid of the filibuster, so they can actually pass some legislation. Otherwise there can be no progress. Just endless fights over extending the debt limits, keeping the government open and so on. McTurtle has only one arrow in his quiver: obstruct.

It will all come down to the state of the economy. It doesn’t matter that Biden and Democrats will have inherited an economic debacle from Trump — if the economy hasn’t significantly improved by the mid-term they’ll be punished for it. If things are demonstrably improving then they would have a good shot at holding or growing majorities.

This, by the way, is why Republicans will fight tooth-and-nail against any attempt to invigorate the economy. Reading the tea leaves, they’re already resisting any additional stimulus that might end up helping a Biden Administration.

It’s not likely the economy will be much better by 2022, so I do think a repeat of 2010 will happen.

That may be the case, and we could have a repeat of 2010, but I don’t think this would be the reason. My hypothesis is that the 1994 and 2010 red tsunamis were due to disaffected liberals staying home. For some reason that I don’t get, the far left seems to blame middle of the road Democrats rather than obstructionist Republicans for things not progressing as rapidly as they would like. I don’t understand why, but that is my guess as to what happened in those two years. The Democrats need a strategy to keep those voters engaged over the next two years.

The stench of Trump will last a lot longer than the stench of Bush. So Democrats do have that going for them.

The strategy is to actually get stuff done.

They spent too long after the 2008 election trying to play nice. That didn’t work. The republicans demanded control over everything, even though they had just destroyed the economy, and the democrats now had position.

Obama is still mocked by republicans for when he told Cantor, “Elections have consequences.” This was after winning the presidency with a clear majority, as well as both houses outright. The republicans will tout this back, even after only managing to keep power against the will of the majority of voters.

So, if the democrats have the seats this time, they should go all out. End the filibuster. Push through all the legislative agenda that’s been sitting on the backburner since 2010. Fix the ACA.

If the Supreme court threatens to strike down laws passed by congress, then pack new justices on there that won’t.

Democratic voters were disaffected by the fact that democrats had control over the presidency and both houses, and got so little done. The fact that it was obstructed by the republicans doesn’t matter. As seen in the concurrent thread, they feel that they should have done more, even if there was no way to do more.

With a clear majority in two houses, there is no reason why they cannot get enough accomplished before 2010 elections to justify their continued governorship.

If the Republicans hold the senate, then try the same tactic. Pass good legislation in the house, tell the American people what it will do, and who is holding it up. 2022 is a good year for the Democrats to pick up more senate seats, and there are a number of Republicans who will be defending from pretty purple states. If those republicans want to hold their seat, they will have to go along with the legislation, or they will risk being voted out for one who does.

The Republicans are counting on the fact that they are leaving such a mess that the Democrats won’t be able to clean it up in time for the 2022 elections. Voters seem to have short memories, and will return power to those who made the mess as a punishment to those who do not fix it fast enough. They still even complain about “The Obama Economy”, which he brought back from absolute disaster, as though it were his fault, and “The Trump Economy” as though he didn’t inherit an already booming economy.

I understand why for 2010. Obama ran on a big message of HOPE, and came into office with a Congress with a clear Democratic majority. He was ‘supposed’ to make some big changes, but when push came to shove the Democrats just dropped the ball. Instead of putting major policy goals in place, the Democrats kept trying to play nice with Republicans (who had openly announced that their goal was not to cooperate at all) and got very little actually accomplished. Obamacare was a mess, it was some kind of attempt at ‘compromise’ by trying to be mostly the plan Republicans floated in the 90s. It neither got Republican buy-in, nor achieved all of the Democrats goals, so doesn’t really count as much of a win. Similarly, Democrats went along with letting the Republicans keep up the filibuster game even though it’s pretty obvious they were badly abusing the tradition. And Obama elected not to push at all for major things that some people were hoping for, like an end to the Patriot Act and Guantanamo bay.

Since the Democrats appeared to be largely ineffective and unwilling or unable to make changes, a lot of voters just got fed up and stayed home. I think that if the Democrats had stopped being a bunch of wimps attempting to compromise with people who’s only goal is stopping the Democrats from accomplishing anything and just pushed through as much as they could agree on internally, they’d be in a much better place. The milquetoast bipartisanship attempts were just pathetic, and people figured ‘if they’re not going to get anything done if I vote, they’re not going to get anything done if I don’t either.’

I wasn’t really following politics in 1994, but I know the landscape was radically different then - the Republicans would actually reach bipartisan deals with the Democrats, and were only starting on the ‘contract on America’ position they take now.

Both elections have been studied extensively, and I’ve never seen evidence that the results in 1994 or 2010 we’re driven by any significant extent by liberal dissatisfaction. 1994 was mostly about a lazy, flabby, entrenched Democratic majority getting caught with its pants down, abetted by the House banking scandal and a coordinated Republican message.

Base turnout was down for Democrats in 2010, but that was across-the-board for their core constituencies: African-Americans, union members, young voters, etc. Exit polls showed Independents going strongly for Republicans, citing the poor economy and blaming Obama and Democrats for it.

That to me, would indicate dissatisfaction.

Right, even though it was a mess that the Republicans made, it was the Democrats who were blamed for not cleaning it up fast enough. Even though the Republicans were intentionally and publicly obstructing the Democrats efforts in fixing the problems the Republicans had made, people still blamed the Democrats for not “doing enough” or whatever that means.

That means that there are not excuses, and process doesn’t matter. Just fix the problems that the Republicans have caused, and if they try to obstruct, then steamroll over them however it takes. The voters want results, not excuses, even if they really are very good and valid excuses.

It will be very easy for the Democrats to advance in the mid-terms if they stick together, cooperate, and show the country they are a strong party. So most likely they will lose seats from both houses in 2022. Nancy may be able to hold the House together, I don’t think Chuck has a clue, but the major weakness may be Biden if he goes ahead with his hare-brained idea to reach across the aisle.

The Democrats could have stopped trying the ‘build bi-partisan consensus’ nonsense and just pushed through legislation that had support from within their own party and axed the filibuster, that would have gotten a lot of things done. The Republicans would be motivated to whine and cry and be obstructive, but they have been doing that to the best of their ability since 2008 anyway so it wouldn’t actually make anything worse. Democrats have consistently been whiny and ineffective, and what’s the point of voting for someone who’s just going to talk a big game but actually only pass legislation that Republicans want?

With a number of incoming senators, it is not a given that he will stay party leader.

He can reach across the aisle. And give them a bitch slap.

But yeah, agreed, if he wastes this session trying to play nice with those who have said that they refuse to play at all, then the Democrats deserve to lose, it’s just unfortunate that the country loses with them.

Yeah, that’s why they need to learn the lessons from those days.

They were naïve then. If they repeat those mistakes, they are fucking stupid.

They either nuke the filibuster and actually get some things done or we see a repeat of 94 and 2010. Pretending the GOP should have a say in governing this country SHOULD be punished.

this makes really sad reading.
so so much victim blaming
“she should have fought harder”
“why did she smile in the club and encourage him”
“she should not have walked in the park”
American politics is truely awfully badly fucked up

President Clinton said gun control had a lot to do with it. If Biden gets even a tenth of what his official website says he wants it will be a huge issue, more so if he gets even more of what he’s suggesting. Obama was rather passive on the issue, picking other fights to focus on.

Why the Republicans are hammering him on this issue is beyond me.

Aren’t! Why they aren’t hammering him on this issue is beyond me.

I think the Republican brand is going to be deeply tainted by 2022. Once Trump is out of office, actual investigations into his conduct while in office can begin and I’m certain they will show that the rot goes much deeper than anyone imagined.

Maybe as some have said they feel it is lost anyway for 2020, and are reserving it for use afterwards a-la '94. I believe there’s no way a real honest-to-goodness “grab” can be consummated within 2 years but whatever legislating begins to happen, there goes the panic buying again and out come the voters. You’ve seen your last quarter-a-round ammunition in years to come as it is (plus let’s face it the current Administration talks big but does little or even goes ahead and does what ticks off the 2A types, anyway).

My advise for the first two years: Major focus on undoing damage, restoring competence, and on economy/health care/stabilization of the workforce issues. Brag and boast about all you achieve, don’t be self-effacing.

Yes, I know, what Obama’s WH called the “Professional Left” will be all in our faces that we need to NOW create Green Utopia, outlaw anything with more firepower than a Colt Army SA, etc. …and theirs is political capital you don’t want to burn either. It’s gonna be tricky.