Alan McIntyre at the Scottish Review:
Since 1994 midterms have mattered, not just as protest votes, but as elections that have frequently determined congressional control. In the last eight midterms, control of the House has changed hands either four or five times (depending on the final 2022 result), while it’s only been twice in the Senate. Midterms have become a true political thermostat, and the result has often been divided government for the last two years of a Presidential term. Consequently, the typical second half of a Presidency is now legislative gridlock, occasional cross-party compromise, stacks of Executive Orders, and a sharp uptick in Presidential overseas trips to get away from the unpleasantness in DC.
With Biden’s approval rating stuck in the low 40s, the table was set last week for a Democratic rout. Instead, it looks like the Republican House majority will be at most one or two seats, while Democrats have retained the Senate. So why did 2022 buck the midterm orthodoxy?