Political forecasting for 2022 and 2024

Democrats hold Congress and Harris won’t succeed Biden in 2024

Forecasting political events is a difficult endeavor, rife with risks and not for the faint hearted. The 2022 are an eternity away but already signs point to Biden’s Democrats holding both the House and the Senate, thanks to Trump’s pyromaniac tendencies. 

The inability for Republicans to recast themselves in the aftermath of their loss of the Senate and the White House is a case study in the failure of sticking to a losing script. McConnell’s supposed political genius will instead pass for what it always was: rank obstructionism in the service of very interests, those of the donor base intent on returning America to a fabled imagined past in the 19th century. It’s Biden’s world now and Republicans are just now understanding they have no place in it, none at all.

2021’s positive start with the vaccination acceleration and the massive COVID relief bill should be followed by the infrastructure bill. These 3 achievements will fundamentally recast the role of government as a force for good, the stopgap Americans rely on to maintain their rank and propel themselves forward. 

These achievements, if proven successful on the whole, will allow Biden to run for a 2nd term, as every successful modern US President has to date.

President Biden at the White House

Democrats will hold the House and Senate in 2022

The 2021 Georgia Senate wins seemed improbable until they delivered a Democratic majority in the Senate. The immediate voter suppression laws passed by the Georgia legislature and other GOP-controlled state assemblies could deflate ambitions for the rest of the country in 2022. They will in fact be the perfect rallying cry to muster votes for the 2022 midterms, historically tough for any President.

The circular firing squad that is the Republican party will see Trump continue to lob political bombs towards conservatives he deems not Trumpy enough, This non stop scorched earth strategy, their cowardly non management of the Q Anon threat and the embrace of white power will remain repellant enough to common sense moderates that they will vote for Biden’s Democrats.

Forecast 1: The House majority will be maintained but not expanded. A tight edge is often easier to maneuver and Speaker Pelosi’s deft hand will be ironclad. Slim majorities the world over are the smoothest to manage, as they disinvite performative actions and force factions to coalesce around the greater good.

Forecast 2: Democrats currently hold a 50+1 majority with VP Harris acting as a tie breaker. They could pick up 1-2 Senate seats in 2022, one by election and one with an additional independent Senator caucusing with Democrats, much like Maine’s Angus King already does. 2000’s majority flip via Jim Jeffords caucusing with Democrats and in 2009 Republican Senator Arlen Specter’s switch to the Democrats are recent examples to ponder. If there’s a political leader able to muster such as flip, former Senator Biden is it. The main candidates would be Senators Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine.

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Harris won’t succeed Biden in 2024 who will run for a 2nd term

2024 is already on everyone’s minds and the 2020 campaign saw too many discount Biden’s vitality and predicted that VP Harris would take over for the President a mere months into the term. Biden is indeed the oldest President but he maintains a vigor about him, which coupled with very real political success, will allow him to do what every modern President has been able to do: run for reelection. If Biden’s gamble for government expansion continues on its path there’s every reason to believe that he will run for a second term.

Furthermore, Harris’ 2020 primary run was very competent, but lacked a clear rationale beyond her prosecutor experience and scant Senate presence.As Biden himself experienced in 2015-16, there’s no iron clad rule that a sitting VP is the President’s political successor. The path for Harris in 2028 is not at all clear.

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Boring is to be celebrated

Secretary Buttigieg, a former Mayor and DNC candidate, a mix of heartland values, military and private sector experience is much more the political heir to Biden than Harris. 

His natural ability to slay Fox News anchors’ inane talking points with his “aw shucks” Midwestern demeanor and sell Biden’s policies is pure art. This ability is a political asset that will go a long way for 2022, 2024 and crucially, 2028.

Forecast 3: It’s quite possible that the party’s donor base and beyond will wish to pursue boring as a calling card in 2028, and Buttigieg fits the bill to a T. Harris certainly has political skills but she’s not a game changer in the way Buttigieg can be. There remains a strong Midwestern strain to the Democratic party that makes it palatable to “red” states and Harris will never be able to overcome her California roots.

Buttigieg’s cabinet role as Transportation Secretary is the first accelerator to an improbable political path started as a young mayor of South Bend, Indiana. “Mayor Pete”’’s ability to outfox Fox News is on almost daily display, he’s Biden’s secret weapon to speak to middle America, even with his personal background as a gay man. He and his husband Chasten are perfect poster boys for mainstream, middle of the road values.

Share Perspective and context - 2020 through the lens of history

Third terms in the form of a handover between a sitting President and a successor are no foregone conclusions as Al Gore and Hillary Clinton can attest to. American voters like to hedge their bets and switch parties after 2 successful terms of the other party. Nonetheless, we’re not living in normal times, with 2 normal parties that can both claim the governing mantle.

The current GOP is literally cornering itself into being a regional, white power grievance minority party, with difficulties to attract millennial voters of all socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. It’s therefore quite possible that a fundamental reordering of the political landscape is afoot, with this GOP in the role of the Whig party, that is a dying party about to get read its last rites.