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US election 2020 did not come as an absolute victory for the Democrat party, which gained the Presidency but lost some of its influence in the House of Representatives. House Democrats unexpectedly forfeited seats to the GOP, which shaved eight off their overall majority. The now slim margin between the two parties in the House poses a problem for Mr Biden, who needs agreement in both chambers to pass the change he promised in his campaign.
Although Democrats still technically hold a majority, they may end up hamstrung by the 10 representatives separating them and the GOP.
The position puts Mr Biden on the precipice of becoming the first president since George Bush Sr to arrive at the Oval Office without a supportive majority in the Senate or House, according to Robert Singh, a Professor of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Professor Singh said the “remarkable” achievements of the GOP this year would endanger Democrats’ chances of gaining seats in 2022 as well.
He said Republicans would expect Democrats to lose seats in 2022, and them knowing this would leave them unlikely to give concessions across the aisle.
Professor Singh said: “Biden would need to rack up some remarkable achievements to win one or both chambers in 2022.
“Typically, the president’s party loses seats in a mid-term election.
“That fact also gives the ‘out’ party (that doesn’t have the White House) reason not to compromise.
“When the competition is so intense, and the parties so closely matched, that too provides disincentives to compromise.”
“So, I can’t see Biden making much progress on domestic matters, not enough to help in 2022.”
A “red wave” would legislatively neuter the new President in his first two years, giving him fewer achievements to tout for the American public as he hopes to secure the Senate and House in 2022.
But he may not need to rely on pushing legislation through the capitol for Americans to favour him.
The coronavirus pandemic will ultimately wind down over this time, likely thanks to a change in response from Mr Biden and the incoming vaccine, leading to economic recovery.
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Professor Singh explained the Democrats would end up being “rewarded for the return of better times”, which could put them in favour with the electorate.
The professor also explained they stand a better chance of midterm success in 2022 when the majority of the Senate comes up for grabs.
Some 22 of the 34 seats up for reelection are GOP, while just 12 are Democrat, meaning the latter stands a better chance of making gains.
He said: “34 seats will be up, and currently, 22 are held by Republicans, 12 by Democrats.”
“That means the Republicans are more likely, other things being equal, to lose seats there, just because they have more to defend and Senate elections are much more competitive than House ones.
“So, it’s possible that Dems could re-take the Senate even without major Biden legislative or policy wins.”
A Senate majority for Democrats would award the party a valuable tool, allowing them to prioritise their own legislation which makes it through the House rather than GOP.
The result could be a strong finish for the final two years of Mr Biden’s first term, paving the way for a second.
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