Biden scrambles before midterms


Noah Amidon, opinions editor

Most likely the Democrats will lose the midterm elections. Causing them to lose control of the House, Senate, and the ability of President Joseph ‘Joe’ Biden to pass meaningful legislation. With 211 House seats and 49 Senate seats estimated as Republican locks by pollsters compared to a Democratic 205 and 48; things are looking slim for the Democratic Party.

This projected loss comes primarily from a result of the 2020 census and the redistricting that occurred. Currently, across all 50 states, Republicans control 54.1% of all state legislature seats, which lends redistricting practices to lean Republican. This creates what many are unwilling to address despite it being a major factor in every election, extreme partisan gerrymandering. With re-districting being controlled by Republicans, one can easily assume that gerrymandered districts will mostly lean red.

Luckily, this is the point in a race where having the President in power becomes advantageous to the Democrats. In the last couple of months, President Biden has made several political moves all strategically designed to increase Democratic sentiment, and possibly even flip Mississippi District 1.

The first indication that Biden may be scrambling occurred when the White House announced that the Biden-Harris administration announced that they would be forgiving up to $20,000 in student loans per borrower. This is estimated to provide relief to up to 43 million Americans, targeting primarily low-income and middle-income borrowers. The Democrats are trying to provide aid to their voting base; the educated middle class. The goal of this move was primarily to ensure that the middle class doesn’t flip to the Republicans, as before this act many members of the Democratic base were polling against Biden as there was no relief for their crippling student debt.

Next, the Biden administration moved to increase their voter turnout among a more impoverished demographic, Biden in a major swoop pardoned thousands of individuals with federal marijuana possession convictions. Again this is a clear move by Biden and Democrats to try and win over more votes, primarily from a black and brown demographic. This is not a secret move by any means, as Biden stated in a video, “While white and black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, black and brown people are arrested, prosecuted and convicted at disproportionately higher rates.” This is a particularly interesting stance from Biden who historically has been known for being tough on crime (championing the historic 1994 crime bill during his time as a Senator), yet he recently changed his tune on the 2020 campaign trail to pull more voters to his side. Now we see him employing the same tactic again. 

Biden and the Democrats understand that if they’re going to retain their control then they must appeal to the will of the people, and remain the party of the populace.

That is why on October 19, 2022, Biden adds just another feather to his midterm cap by announcing the sale of 15 million barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve. With many Americans blaming the rising gas prices on the Biden administration for not better regulating the war in Ukraine, this action attempts to mitigate that anger. This is especially necessary to stabilize American prices as OPEC+ just announced that they would cut oil production by 2 million barrels a day, thus causing a rise in gas prices.

Biden is now trying to paint the Democrats as a party of saviors, who protect the American people from international fluctuations in pricing.

Will all this be enough to flip Mississippi District 1 from Republican to Democrat, giving Democrat Diane Black a real chance against the incumbent Republican Trent Kelly? 

Probably not. The only chance Democrats have is if Black can draw a massive amount of voters from her home county of Desoto County, with her recognition as a small business owner. Otherwise, the 1st Congressional District is most likely going to remain in the hands of the Republicans and Trent Kelly.

However, these actions by Biden aren’t going unnoticed in Mississippi, with Project 538 describing Mississippi District 4 as a potential district that could flip from red to blue. This would be historic for the state as the state hasn’t sent more than one Democrat to DC for a decade.

Americans turned out for Biden in 2020, however, if they don’t turn out for Democrats in the midterms then voters essentially shackle Biden, making him unable to pass meaningful legislation. Biden is scrambling, and Democrats must respond on November 8th.