So, are the Times’s fears well-grounded? Will 2022 be a disaster for the Democrats? I certainly hope so, and I think the Republicans will take the House and expand their control over the Senate. (I anticipate winning at least one of the two Georgia runoff elections.) The president’s party almost always loses ground in his first midterm elections. Last time the Democrats elected a new president, Barack Obama, the 2010 midterms were a disaster for them. And there was a great deal more enthusiasm for Obama in 2008 than for Biden in 2020.
The Democrats have other problems, too. Their turnout this year was driven largely by antipathy toward President Trump in some quarters, and by voter fraud. We do not yet know how many of their votes were fraudulent, nor do we know what measures will be taken between now and 2022 to improve election security. But it seems safe to assume that there will be less fraud two years from now (if only because there will be less mail-in voting), and, in any event, President Trump will be out of the picture.
Too, it is highly probable that by 2022, a great many voters will be disillusioned with the rapidly-failing Joe Biden, assuming that he is still president in two years. There is usually an element of buyer’s remorse in a president’s first midterm election, and by 2022 the remorse could be profound.