Is a “red wave” coming? Local political expert shares his predictions with 47 ABC

DELMARVA – Political experts have been predicting a “red wave” to take over the 2022 Midterm Election.

Red Wave Incoming?

“I would have to compare it to the type of gains that the Republicans had in the Clinton Administration, when they gained a total of about 60 seats,” said Delaware State University Professor of Political Science, Dr. Samuel Hoff. “Or, like the Obama Administration when they gained a total of 69 seats.”

However, while many Congressional race results remain up the air, momentum behind the predicted shift in power could be fizzling out.

“The way it looks now, it could even end up 50/50, which will mean the Democrats will still control the Senate with Vice President [Kamala] Harris’ Senate tie-breaking vote,” said Dr. Hoff. “The President could have some options with the Senate.”

Dr. Hoff says if Republicans do manage to flip either chamber, they might not have a very wide margin to push their agenda.

“Even if Republicans take over both chambers, it’ll be very narrow in the Senate and the House. I’m predicting that after all is said and done, their majority will be between a five and 15 member majority,” said Dr. Hoff.

Republicans Rethinking

American politics remain a deeply divided and partisan landscape. Dr. Hoff says some of the most contentious political issues could have pushed some Republicans to reconsider how they voted, making the “red wave” more of a ripple.

“We know the economic issues were a concern. But, so were some of the social issues, primarily abortion following the Dobbs decision in the summer,” said Dr. Hoff. “Those were highlighted by a lot of voters as they came out of the voting booth in exit surveys. So, I think those were among the reasons why we see much more balance.”

Dr. Hoff also says that political extremism might have swayed some Republicans to vote across party lines.

“Exit polls, and even some of the surveys before the election, identified issues. You could see that threats to democracy was quite up there,” said Dr. Hoff. “You could also identify extremism, and some of the more colorful, if one-sided, views for many of the candidates running across the board. Particularly, those who are referred to as election deniers. It seems that Americans are very sophisticated and knowledgeable about those folks, and were not buying some of the arguments that they were bringing up as they ran for various offices.”

Compromising With Change

Whether a “red wave” comes to fruition or not, Dr. Hoff says compromises will have to come from each party.

“Override can only occur when both chambers have two thirds present and voting. It doesn’t look like either chamber is going to have the numbers to automatically allow that, which means some members of the other party would have to join them in order for those vetoes to be overridden,” said Dr. Hoff.

And, how President Joe Biden chooses to handle any change in Congressional power, is yet to be seen, says Dr. Hoff.

“The President might also choose accommodation, like President Clinton did after the Republican sweep in 1994,” said Dr. Hoff. “Or, he could choose a mixture of antagonism toward the other party. That’s really yet to see in terms of the approach.”
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