To Avoid Election Disaster, Biden Needs Enemies, Not Friends

Bruce Willis’ blockbuster Armageddon (partially) came true last month, almost a quarter of a century after its release. On November 24, NASA launched its double asteroid redirection test, or DARD – an unmanned spaceship which must crash into the asteroid Dimorphos at 22,000 kilometers per hour. This target practice serves as a test, in case a meteorite is on a collision course with Earth, and the world can only be saved by blowing the space object out of its path.

The american president Joe bidenJoe BidenPfizer CEO says vaccine data for under-5s could be available by year-end Omicron coronavirus variant found in at least 10 states Photos of the week: Schumer, ASU protest and sea ​​turtles PLUSthe popularity of tumbled, and he could do with his own DART (Depressing turnaround in approval ratings) to reverse the trend of collapse. Voters are increasingly negative about the government’s COVID-19 policies, while blaming much of the high inflation on the Democratic leader.

A threat from an asteroid heading towards Earth in movies such as Armageddon and Deep Impact tends to unite people, but Biden – whose problems mount – needs an enemy to keep voters together. rally behind him.

Popular presidents of the past always had a mediagenic threat or challenge that was easy to capture in slogans. For example, Reagan called the Soviet Union an “evil empire” and called the government itself an adversary (“Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. “). Legendary Democratic strategist James Carville recently told The Atlantic: “For the moment, the White House does not have good storytellers. Good stories need bad guys.

In his campaign, Biden had the perfect antagonist in Trump: rude, impulsive, rude, devoid of any form of self-reflection, with an ego bigger than the Pentagon and a misaligned moral compass. Democrats were able to present a more amiable, polite, respected and very experienced candidate. After his election victory, however, Biden spent too much time portraying himself as Trump’s antithesis. For a long time, the message basically remained “Look how calm, how stable and how decent you have now”, thus looking in the rearview mirror rather than ahead.

The White House is now trying to retain and (re) win voters with the dual plan of rebuilding, renovating and thoroughly modernizing the American infrastructure (in the broad sense of the term) and the social system.

A good to very good record can be made for most of Biden’s plans in the Bipartite infrastructure framework and the Build Back Better Initiative. Still, Team Biden failed to effectively market their plans. For many voters, it’s unclear exactly what the plans entail. When Americans are presented with individual parts of BBB, they are usually enthusiastic. When asked if they think the whole package will work, however, the faces turn grim.

Biden is now trying to sell his stimulus packages as a way to stop inflation, but that doesn’t make sense. Current supply chain problems will not be solved with investments in infrastructure that will only have an impact in a few years.

Biden’s downward spiral is unlikely to be interrupted at this time. For now, there won’t be a bull’s-eye; the currency seems to be Disappointing to achieve goals. Still, it’s critical that Democrats regain new momentum quickly, as mid-terms are less than a year away. Democrats are heading for a collage:

  • Support for Biden is quite weak, but Congress is held in even less esteem among voters. This reflects Democrats the most, as they rule in both chambers.
  • A number of Democrats in Congress will step down, while an incumbent politician has always had an easier time getting re-elected than a novice getting elected. In addition, many congressional districts will be rediscovered following the recent census. This is the job of states, and the GOP is in charge in most of those states. In addition, the party of the outgoing president generally does poorly in the mid-term.
  • High inflation may stabilize somewhat over the next few quarters, but it will likely remain so. Voters are clearly concerned, and Republicans are doing all they can to fuel those concerns. Moreover, high inflation generally has a greater electoral impact than a high unemployment rate: if 12% of the people are unemployed, 88% of the voters will have no problem; inflation affects virtually all voters. In addition, those with the lowest incomes are the most susceptible to high inflation, and the majority of this group of voters tend to vote Democratic.
  • The United States is expected to be severely affected by COVID-19 in the coming months. Charts that trace COVID-19 infection rate in Europe and the United States. show that the United States is following almost all European waves. It only seems like a matter of time before another US wave begins (if it hasn’t already started), given lower vaccination coverage compared to Europe, fewer restrictive measures and a lot more of resistance in Republican states against potential new COVID measures. This is made worse by the Thanksgiving effect: 50 to 60 million Americans said they would travel on this national holiday, and air travel is up 80% from last year.
  • As the Fed takes tentative steps towards tightening, far fewer fiscal stimulus in the offing than last year and consumer confidence to the lowest levels in a decade, the US economy is unlikely to offer a positive surprise anytime soon. The economy is the topic of most concern to American voters.

If Republicans are indeed heading for a resounding midterm victory, the usual market optimism about a divided Washington might not be true this time:

Andy Langenkamp is a senior policy analyst at ECR Research which provides independent research on asset allocation, global financial markets, policy, and exchange and interest rates.