Congressional Democrats currently enjoy a razor-thin majority on Capitol Hill, but historical trends signal an uphill climb in next year’s midterm races.
One factor that could make retaining control of Congress even more unlikely is a sharp rise in violent crime across the nation — particularly in Democratic-controlled cities.
In a recent op-ed for The Hill, political analyst Bernard Goldberg argued that the crime surge is linked to the anti-police protests and riots of the past year as well as calls by progressive activists to “defund the police.”
Although crime rates overall remain lower than in recent years, violent crimes — and especially murders — have surged in cities of all sizes across the U.S.
Many of those places that have endured the recent protests and advanced or acted on efforts to defund law enforcement have seen fewer officers on the streets as a result.
Meanwhile, several cities have also elected far-left district attorneys who have been accused of turning a blind eye toward many crimes and have allowed repeat offenders to escape serious consequences.
In response to increased violence, Democrats have largely proposed stricter gun control measures while Republicans continue to advocate for properly funded police departments and a court system that actually holds offenders accountable.
Of course, crime is not the only hurdle Democrats face in the upcoming midterm elections. More and more Americans are concerned about inflation and blame the Biden administration’s policies for exacerbating the situation.
For its part, the White House insists that surging consumer prices will be short-lived and are caused by pent-up demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, Roll Call reported that Democrats will also have to contend with the fact that congressional redistricting in all 50 states will generally benefit Republicans since the GOP controls a majority of state legislatures responsible for redrawing district lines every decade.
Finally, historical trends dating back to the 1930s indicate that the party in opposition to a newly elected president is likely to make considerable gains in congressional races.
A lot can happen between now and next year’s elections, but multiple ongoing issues appear to constitute discouraging news for Democrats.