US midterm elections

All eyes on US Midterm Elections 2022

The global attention is on the United States critical midterm elections that will determine the makeup of the 118th US Congress. In-person Election Day was Tuesday (Nov. 8), with many voters casting ballots by mail or via drop boxes before then. Midterm elections are usually high-stakes affairs, often viewed as a referendum on the sitting president and their results will set the tone for the rest of US President Joe Biden’s first presidential term.

His Democratic Party has held slim majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate. If the opposition Republicans seize control of one or both chambers of the legislature, they have said they will block Biden’s domestic legislative agenda.

Critical Senate races in Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona were still unresolved, according to NBC News. The balance of power may take days or even weeks to determine, especially in the Senate.
NBC estimated that Republicans could end up with 220 seats — a narrow majority — in the House.

Earlier, US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who was reelected, expressed confidence that the Republicans will have the majority in the lower chamber of Congress following the midterms, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated the Democrats have performed better than expected.

Reuters/Ipsos survey data shows that inflation and the economy are far and away the most pressing issues among those who say they are likely to vote. The US cost of living is at a 40-year-high, putting voters in a disgruntled mood.

Americans will also choose candidates in various federal, state and local elections.

Analysts have forecast that equities would react negatively if Democrats manage to maintain House and Senate majorities, with Goldman Sachs analysts saying there would be risk of additional corporate tax increases weighing on earnings and risk of higher interest rates to counter probable additional spending.

After the midterms, focus turns to the 2024 presidential election. It could be a repeat of 2020 – both Presidents Biden and Trump say they plan to run again. That said, Trump has yet to make a formal bid, and at 80-years-old Biden’s age is a concern for some Democrats.

UPDATE 17/11/2022

Republicans won enough seats to take control of the U.S. House of Representatives from Democrats, the AP projected, ending two years of unified Democratic control of Congress and the White House.

With reporting by NBC News, Reuters, CNBC, AP