On 15 February 2022, New York Representative Kathleen Rice announced that she will not be seeking re-election in November 2022 and became the 30th House Democrat to bail on what is increasingly being seen as the sinking ship of Joe Biden. Biden’s national approval rate is around 40% and is even lower in the swing states of Arizona, Florida and Georgia. This is concerning as the President’s popularity is the first line of defence in stemming the midterm losses. The Biden administration is struggling to increase the approval ratings amidst the rapidly escalating cost of living, owing to the prolonged pandemic and inflation. The inflation rate of 7.5% is the highest the United States has seen in over 40 years.

The control of the Senate and House are both at stake with the Democrats at risk of losing the lower chamber. Democrats barely have control over both chambers and struggle to pass bills in the divided Senate. While Vice President, Kamala Harris, holds the power to cast tie-breaking votes, the filibuster rule of the body enables Republicans to stop the majority of legislation from appearing to the vote altogether.

If the Republicans regain the House in November, it will put former President Donald Trump in a strong position to unseat Biden come November 2024. With Donald Trump revving to get back in the office, it comes as no surprise that the Biden administration is panicking. The Atlantic magazine wrote: “Trump is expected to own the midterms as much as Joe Biden. Voters’ verdicts on Trump will come in Idaho, Alabama and Georgia this spring. Then in Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming in summer.”

Biden v Trump, the return match
Biden v Trump, the return match

Trump Gearing For His Return

Trump has already commenced efforts by endorsing his candidates in the key states. He has selected around 40 congressional races and is heavily involved in ensuring that House Republicans win in November. He isn’t limiting his efforts to the House of Representatives. He has made nine endorsements in the gubernatorial primaries though in typical fashion, he made one against Idaho’s GOP incumbent.

Trump uses unconventional methods in the endorsement process, relying heavily on spontaneous phone conversations. Moreover, he has a massive influence on Republican voters, resulting in the majority of GOP officeholders supporting him. This has also protected him from a conviction, following his impeachment by the House for the Capitol riot.

Trump and his allies are continuously raising money and scheduling events for initiatives in efforts to make him a key player in the midterm elections. Trump released a $75 coffee table book or $230 for a signed copy, which has made over $20m as of early February.Expect to see more rallies, policy summits, and forums at his resort for his donors and endorsed candidates. All these endeavours are geared towards pushing Trump for another presidential run come 2024.

Will Trump win over voters?

According to a poll conducted by Reuters last year, 28% of the Republicans believe that Trump should not be running for President in 2024. However, 63% of the Republicans believe he should have been the current President, and that he was robbed of the last elections.

Correspondingly, the approval rating of Donald Trump in the broader public arena is not looking too good. He only has 32% approval ratings, as per a survey conducted by NBC News, last year, and 55% disapproval ratings.

These numbers strongly suggest that Trump is in a steady position to win the Republican primary, but couldn’t win the general elections. However, with him and his allies already making efforts to make him a central figure in the running, the numbers could tip in his favour. The midterms could be the catalyst to a rematch of Biden v Trump come November 2024.

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