Can the Ds get 50 senate seats, 2022 edition.

I didn’t want to hijack the other thread, so here is a new one to ask some related questions. Here are the assumptions for the hypothetical. The Democratic presidential candidate wins in 2020 and the Democrats keep the house, but the senate ends up 48/52 in favor of Republicans. There are two related questions for this scenario.

  1. How will the 2022 senate races end up? A look at the map shows the Democrats will be defending 12 seats. The incumbents up for reelection are mostly in solidly blue states. Colorado, Nevada, and New Hampshire are the least blue states with Democratic incumbents. The Republicans, on the other hand have 21 seats to defend. Incumbents will be defending seats in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, and Iowa. Georgia and Missouri are up as well, in the red but not deep red category. In addition the Republican incumbents in Wisconsin and North Carolina will be retiring. The only wild card I see is John McCain’s old seat in Arizona, which will come up again in 2022.

  2. How will McConnell handle the senate until then? Will we be looking at a future where most of the cabinet are “acting” secretaries? Will he hold up all judicial nominees including for SCOTUS? If he behaves in this obstructionist manner, I assume this will only help the Democrats in 2022.

My initial reaction to this scenario based on historical trends would be to think that 2022 would be a repeat of 1994 and 2010. However, I think those elections were a reaction by a public who thought Democrats had gone too far to the left. With a Republican senate grinding the government to a halt in 2021 and 2022 in this scenario, I believe the backlash would be against the Republicans this time, and that Democrats would have a good shot at the seats I mentioned. What do you all think?

Most voters don’t pay that close attention. If government isn’t working the way they want it to, they blame it on whoever’s in the White House.

Quite seriously, I’ve come to believe that if the Dems win the White House but not the Senate next year, we’re screwed for years to come. If they can’t win the Senate, better to lose the White House as well. They’d regain the Senate in 2022 for sure, and have the trifecta when they won the Presidency in 2024.

I think midterm elections are virtually always hard on the President’s party. Your post appears to assume that the president will be a D in 2022. I’m not convinced that’s an outcome we should be assuming at this point. As for your questions:

  1. no one knows now how the races “end up”. We don’t even know who the challengers will be yet, bit it seems reasonable to say that the 2022 Senate map appears to favor the Dems.

  2. if the president is a dem, there’s a good chance Senator McConnell and the Republicans allow very little to actually happen in terms of major legislation or nominations. If the president is an R, I still expect very little legislation to pass because of the filibuster, but you’d see many more nominees confirmed, similar to today.

Yes, that is in fact the hypothetical: “Here are the assumptions for the hypothetical. The Democratic presidential candidate wins in 2020…”

You can always start a thread with a different hypothetical.

One thing to consider is assuming a D President and an R Senate, does McConnell want to spend 2 more years just throwing sand into the gears? He’s not getting any younger. With Obama, I think it was personal. Perhaps McConnell didn’t like all the attention this hotshot freshman senator was getting and went all the way to the presidency.

The president’s party usually does get whacked in the midterms, but there was a ton of dark money thrown at battleground senate races in 2016 assuming a Hillary win.

I’m not going to even hazard a guess at what motivates Mitch McConnell. But he’s invested much of his life in obtaining certain political outcomes, and if another 2 years in the Senate is what it takes to make sure they aren’t reversed, I’d bet on him being there.

OP has a good point, as I alluded to 7 months ago:

So 2022 looks good! Still, it would be sweet to take control after 2020 rather than spending another two years in Purgatory.

It seems bizarre, but RTFirefly (“If they can’t win the Senate, better to lose the White House as well”) might not be wrong.

2012 was a weird year though, with Indiana and Missouri blowing winnable races with dumb comments on rape. North Dakota has such a small population that Heitkamp was a fluke, the demographics changed in the 6 years with Texans moving there for the energy industry plus some Native American voter suppression.

IMHO the problem with this analysis is that RBG has a fairly decent chance of not making it till the fall of 2024. If she doesn’t having that trifecta in 2024 won’t be of much use.

Not to mention the many federal judgeships that will be coming open between now and 2024.

Most of whatever bulwark against authoritarianism we’ve seen holding in the past two years, has been the federal judges. To simply shrug about an increasingly right-wing bench is an extremely short-sighted position to take.