The Democrats Won’t Win the Senate

But it might not be so bad

The Democrats are not going to win their elections in Georgia, meaning they won’t win the Senate. And if they don’t win the Senate, they won’t be able to pass as many bills as if they had. It’s going to be big news, and everyone on the left is going to be deeply disappointed. But there’s another story here.

Presidents always lose ground in midterms. There are a few exceptions, but not many. Here’s a chart I drew in 2016, explaining why Trump was going to lose a ton of seats in 2018. (Which he did, in grand fashion)

This means that Joe Biden is definitely going to lose seats in 2022, if the trend holds. But there’s a wrinkle in this story. It’s called unified government. Many presidents win the House, the Senate, and the White House, making them extremely powerful. And two years later, Americans punish them for it. But Joe Biden isn’t going to win the Senate, which changes the story.

When congress fails to pass a bill, no one will be able to say “Democrats control everything and yet nothing is improving.” Instead, the Democrats can tell the story “Mitch McConnell keeps stopping us, which is why we need your vote in 2022.” That can be a powerful fundraising tool and rallying cry.

And guess what? 3 Republican senators are retiring in 2022, and the overall contest is shaping up to be very competitive. It’ll be a fight, but it’s very winnable for Democrats.

Am I happy Democrats won’t win the Senate? Of course not. Do I wish they could pass laws? Sure. But don’t fret. There are a lot of opportunities for compromise bills, addressing Covid, getting back in the Paris Agreement, and fixing our relationships with our allies. It’s not everything we wanted, but it’s not nothing. And sometimes stopping the destruction is worthy of celebration in its own right.

I love building things.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store