The 2022 midterm elections have been a topic of conversation in Washington since before the ink was dry on the 2020 results. Now, the campaigns are coming to a TV or media channel near you. Yes, the barrage of campaign ads can be annoying, especially after they run several times in a single evening. But they're also a reminder to pay attention to the candidates' positions on the issues that affect the manufacturing industry.
There's a lot at stake this November, not only for the candidates but for their constituents in the manufacturing industry. The elected leaders who take the reins in the second session of the 117th Congress will determine the program funding, supply chain initiatives, taxes, trade agreements, and education and workforce legislation that reach the president's desk for well beyond the next two years. Democrats currently hold majorities in the White House and both chambers of Congress. However, early polling suggests a power shift is likely in November, with several factors influencing the state of play, including voter dissatisfaction with the current Biden administration's handling of the economy, foreign policy issues, government overreach, and the newly drawn congressional districts.
Every ten years, states redraw every congressional district in the United States as required in Article I of the U.S. Constitution. This process began again following the 2020 census and is still currently underway in nine states representing 100 congressional districts. Forty-one states with 335 districts have finalized their maps. The newly drawn lines will significantly impact the balance of power in Washington. With state legislatures and redistricting commissions making these determinations, it's important to look at the state and federal races.
AMT uses various resources to follow election trends and forecasts. But, for reliability and consistent accuracy, we follow Dr. Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. Dr. Sabato is one of the country's most respected political analysts and prognosticators. He has been correct in over 90% of his predictions.
A Jan. 13 post to Sabato's Crystal Ball reported that, with several key national factors in their favor, Republicans could win a healthy majority in the House in 2022 – perhaps even their biggest in nearly a century. The Senate forecast is closer, with a slight edge to Republicans.
Sabato's Crystal Ball current Senate forecast:
Will the electorate vote for leaders that build bipartisan relationships or those that strictly defend party principles? If the Republicans capture the Senate, House, or both, will that mean more collaborations or greater divisiveness between parties? Regardless of the outcomes, manufacturers, their workers, and families will be impacted. The more information the industry has on the political ebbs and flows, the more prepared it will be to work with whomever is elected to get results.
Dr. Larry J. Sabato will discuss the current political landscape and share his forecasts at The MFG Meeting, April 27-30, in Bonita Springs, Florida. Register here.