The University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs’ Center for the Study of Politics and Governance held an event today called “Are you ready for the 2022 Elections?” I’ve done a few of these with Rebecca Pearcey, a Democrat strategist living in Washington, DC and they’ve been great. Bipartisanship!

When the Center started promoting the event, I started getting the emails and texts – the 2022 election already, WHY?! But as we discussed at the event, so much that’s happening in our country today has everything to do with the upcoming elections in 2022.

Have you been hearing about that “bipartisan” infrastructure bill in Washington? It’s all political posturing and it hasn’t gone away because both sides know Americans want funding for infrastructure in their communities. But the moderate Democrats and Republicans also know that they can’t sign a blank check while progressives want more, more, more. Leader McConnell coming out in support of the latest deal was a big signal that he has a good amount of Republicans on board.

Other topics of conversation (summaries from my answers provided below):

·       Can President Biden improve his approval ratings to help the Democrats in the midterm elections?

They can and frankly need to but it takes a lot of time to right a ship the size of the White House.

·       Will the January 6th Commission impact the 2022 elections?

The Democrats will try in some places but in general this won’t be the top issue.

·       Will the Democrats run against former President Trump?

Yes, yes, yes, but it won’t work like it did in 2020.

·       Will the Republicans win back the majority in the House?

If the elections were held today, yes. But a lot of things that could change between now and then – COVID, the economy, etc.

·       Who will win the majority in the U.S. Senate (it’s 50/50 today with the Vice President as the tie break, so Democrat)?

This is less of a sure thing than the U.S. House because of what seats are up. Open seats in PA and NC could be good for Republicans in an off year. WI will be interesting as the field is settled (will Ron John run?) AZ probably leans Democrat but it’s still a tossup state.

Watch the event from the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.