Brace yourself for a busy political year – and possibly a volatile one.
Political campaigns in 2022 will determine control of Congress and big-state governors’ offices, the political strength of President Joe Biden and the continuing influence of ex-President Donald Trump, as well as voting rights, LGBTQ rights, abortion rights and whatever other disputes arise over the next ten months.
Nationally, Republicans are favored to re-capture control of the U.S. House, in part because of the fact that president’s party tends to do poorly in midterm elections. This year, that’s the Democrats, who are also disadvantaged by new post-Census congressional redistricting plans that in several states favor the Republicans.
“Historically, in a president’s first midterm election, his party is going to be losing seats,” said Jessica Taylor, the Senate and governors editor for the Cook Political Report.
Democrats have a better chance of keeping control of the U.S. Senate, analysts said, because some Trump-backed Republican candidates may have trouble winning statewide races, even with the bad overall political climate for Democrats.
“To me,” Taylor said, “it comes down to climate vs. candidates.”
The nation’s political battles will play out all year, with some landmark events already discernible. While schedules could change, potential turning points include:
The insurrection anniversary (Jan. 6)
One year after Trump supporters invaded the U.S, Capitol, seeking to stop the counting of the electoral votes that elected Biden to the presidency, some Democrats are expected to argue that the violence was only a preview of things to come.
Among their concerns: Trump supporters are seeking to install like-minded Republicans in legislatures and state election offices across the country, potentially making it easier to overturn elections in the future.
Trump, meanwhile, says he will hold a “news conference” on Jan. 6 to again make false claims of “voter fraud” – a theme he wants Republicans to echo throughout the 2022 election year.