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Biden can breathe a sigh of relief as the Red Wave fails to materialise

By Harry Brown
10 November 2022

By Harry Brown

Americans were back at the polls this week for midterm elections. It was the first time the nation has had the chance to head to the voting booths following the election of President Biden, and the ugly scenes at the Capitol, in January 2021.  

With pollsters predicting a big win for the Republicans and, in turn, laying the foundation for Donald Trump to announce his candidacy for the 2024 Presidential race, there was a lot on the line. For context, the midterms decide the balance of power in congress, with both the House of Representatives and the Senate up for election. 

Votes are still being counted, but it is clear that the pollsters got it wrong once again, with the predicted red wave never materialising. 

As things stand, the Republicans still look set to take the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of congress, with control of the Senate too close to call. It has now come down to three states, with whichever party winning two of the three out of Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, set to control the Senate. We won’t know the final result until next month, with the race in Georgia being decided in a run-off race on the 6 December.  

However, regardless of the final results, the midterms have been bruising for former President Donald Trump. Despite not being on the ballot, Trump had endorsed many Republican candidates who fell to defeats, most notably Mehmet Oz losing in Pennsylvania, a critical battleground state in the 2020 presidential elections.  

The former President had teased that he would formally announce his candidacy for 2024 next week, seemingly off the back of a big Republican win in the midterms, but with the wind knocked out of his sails, this remains to be seen. 

Furthermore, the ease at which Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was elected, with almost 60% of the vote, raises questions about whether Trump is even the most appealing candidate to his own base. DeSantis, for his part, had previously endorsed Trump and promoted many of the anti-woke sentiments that allured so many towards the former President.

Trump has already got DeSantis in his sights, threatening he “knows things” about the Florida Governor that he would not want to be made public. Perhaps foregrounding a future battle between the two Florida residents.  

Away from the Republicans, President Biden and the Democrats will be feeling deeply relieved with how the midterms have played out. The red wave predicted and feared by the democrats and pollsters never materialised.  

It’s worth noting that President Clinton and President Obama suffered heavy losses in midterms and went on to win two years later. In what is usually a difficult night for the incumbent, Biden will be happy with these results.  

Those concerned about the climate will also be feeling a sense of relief. With President Biden due to fly into COP27 tomorrow, the President will arrive feeling the American people are behind his green agenda, and he can make this case to other world leaders with much more confidence.  

Regardless of how the final three states declare, these midterms represent a disappointing outcome for the Republicans. The question of where they go next and who leads them into 2024 will only intensify, and as we have seen in British politics recently, in-fighting is not good for the party brand. Perhaps the biggest lesson from these midterms in terms of British politics, is that it is possible for an incumbent governing party to cope with a challenging economic environment and remain competitive.  

One thing is for sure though, the pace and unpredictability of American politics does not look to be slowing down anytime soon. We should buckle up and get ready for the ride as the race for 2024 heats up.