Pundits across the nation warn that progressives and Democrats will likely lose in 2022. That might be true if the election were today, but November is still a long way off. Here are five reasons why circumstances could be quite different in eleven months:
(1) SCOTUS will probably reverse Roe v. Wade: After 49 years as the law of the land, the Supreme Court will severely limit or outright overturn Roe v. Wade. While Americans have always had complicated feelings about abortion, including agreement with some restrictions on abortion rights, at least two-thirds of voters support Roe and only one-in-five want to overturn that 1973 ruling. Such a SCOTUS ruling will spark a serious backlash against the Supreme Court and the conservative Republicans who stacked it. Abortion could become one of the top issues in the 2022 election, and this alone could turn out a tidal wave of progressive voters.
(2) Donald Trump may be indicted: If anyone else did the things that Trump has done, wouldn’t s/he already be in jail? First, recall that Michael Cohen was guilty of a felony for paying off adult film actress Stormy Daniels with $130,000 from Trump. How could Trump not be charged with the same felony? Second, the Manhattan District Attorney is investigating charges of criminal fraud against Trump for overvaluing and undervaluing his assets. Michael Cohen, who participated in the over- and undervaluing, says prosecutors have the evidence to indict Trump. Third, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation developed evidence of 10 instances when Trump was involved in obstruction of justice and, in at least four of those instances, Mueller laid out evidence to prove each element of the offense. Fourth, there is an ongoing investigation in Georgia over Trump’s efforts to influence the Secretary of State to overturn the results of the 2020 election. And there are other issues, including perjury, Hatch Act violations, and the solicitation of bribes. Sure, an indictment would inflame both sides, but the main problem in 2021 was that Democrats were not sufficiently inflamed.
(3) There will be super-awful GOP nominees: Partly because of Trump and partly because of propaganda on the Internet, it seems likely that the GOP will select some terrible, extreme, corrupt and/or easily attacked nominees in otherwise close races. For example, the Trump favorite for Georgia Senate, Herschel Walker, hasn’t lived in Georgia for years, and documents show “Walker repeatedly threatened his ex-wife’s life, exaggerated claims of financial success,” wrote a “book about being diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, once known as multiple personality disorder…” including a story that “he played Russian roulette sitting at his kitchen table in 1991 pointing a gun, loaded with a single bullet, at his head.” Walker is just one example. Trump is pushing many candidates who are QAnon believers, insurrection supporters, and conspiracy theorists.
(4) There may be a roaring economy by the fall: Between the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law, the upcoming $1.8 trillion budget reconciliation, and successful COVID vaccines and anti-viral medicines, it seems likely that by November the U.S. economy and day-to-day life will be back to normal or, hopefully, built back better. There are still questions of inflation, supply chains and COVID variants, but it looks like schools will be open and businesses will be thriving. Compare that with President Obama’s first midterm election when the nation was still deep in recession.
(5) There will be horrifying new information about Trump and MAGA: Information continues to trickle out that Donald Trump and his minions executed a highly organized plan to subvert the 2020 election and remain in power. And the subversion is ongoing, with MAGA supporters attempting to replace honest election officials with biased ones. Sure, the truth has little effect, but it only has to move a small percentage of voters to make a huge difference in 2022. In fact, the current polls are not nearly as bad as the media claims because – as discussed in our last two columns – the drop in favorability for Biden and other Democrats is not really Americans changing sides from Democrats to Republicans, it is liberal Democrats losing patience and becoming disenchanted. The problem is certainly not that Democrats are going too far to the left, it’s that conservative voters are energized and progressive voters are not. All the circumstances above should energize them.