In a typical midterm election, the party not holding the presidency casts itself as a check on the incumbent administration, even more so when the president’s party controls both chambers of Congress. The elections of 1994, 2006, 2010, and 2018 all started with unified government and all ended with the out-party winning control of the House (and the Senate in 1994).
The in-party has never been able to wear the “check and balance” mantle—until this year. During the 2022 midterm, there are a couple of ways in which the Democratic appeal is essentially that they will act as a counterweight against an out-of-step Republican party.
The first involves the Supreme Court. Historically we refer to the legislative and executive as the “political branches,” as opposed to the supposedly apolitical judiciary. The general public no longer sees the Court that way. In a Quinnipiac University survey, 63 percent of voters agreed that “the Supreme Court is mainly motivated by politics.” And a Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that 74 percent of adults say the Court has become “too politicized.”
If people regard the Court as a political branch that is overreaching what the public wants, then they may view the midterms as a way to check it. [Continue reading…]