'Reprisal voting' against Biden expected to hand House and Senate to Republicans

Zakaria Osman in Washington, Tuesday 8 Nov 2022

Some experts expect “reprisal voting” in US midterms Tuesday to hand legislative control to Republicans to punish Biden for poor economic performance.

US midterms
File Photo: People wait in line to vote at a polling place on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020, in Las Vegas. AP


Electioneering has been marred by fierce competition between Democrats and Republicans amid an unprecedented state of division and polarisation among the American voters

This legislative race is regarded as a referendum on President Joe Biden’s performance during the two first years of his tenure.

Henry Olsen, an academic and researcher at the Centre of Ethics and Public Politics in Washington DC, believes that this race is likely to result in the Republicans winning the House and Senate together. He also expects that the Republican candidates will be able to win by at least 5.5 points, That is to say, they would get between 31 and 40 of the contested seats in both chambers.

All 435 House seats and 35 of the 100-seat Senate are up for grabs.

Republicans, who need just one more seat in the Senate to take control, will likely win two to four more seats, Olsen explained.

He attributed the reason for Republicans’ likely win in both chambers to their ability to take advantage of the votes of Hispanic and suburban middle-class voters who have become disgruntled by the increase in energy and food prices as well as overall inflation.

However, other researchers, academics and specialists suggest that the Republicans will only win control of the House, with between 12 and 25 seats, while the Democrats will retain their majority in the Senate.

Olsen replies to this position, saying these predictions do not take into consideration the effect of US President Joe Biden’s performance on the elections.

Poor performance is punished by what is called “reprisal voting,” where the electorate vote against the sitting party’s candidates in legislative elections.

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