ANALYSIS - Social Justice, Civil Rights To Take Backseat To Pocketbooks In US Midterms

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 06th November, 2022) US voters and candidates have been so focused on economic issues like inflation, including skyrocketing gas prices, that topics like social justice, civil rights, and the environment have been put on the backburner, experts told Sputnik.

US voters will go to the polls on November 8 to cast their ballots in the midterm elections, as the Democratic Party's narrow control of Congress hangs in the balance. All 435 House seats and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate are up for election this year, in addition to statewide and local positions.

"Democrats will continue to emphasize abortion access, gun control, and the environment," University of Texas Professor Joshua Blank told Sputnik. "But unless external events or a significant action or legal escalation involving former President (Donald) Trump overtakes the conversation, it will be hard to shift voters' attention from the economy so late in the contest."

According to him, negative attitudes about the economy, and in particular, inflation, are hurting Democratic candidates amid negative views of President Joe Biden's job performance in this key area.

"Incumbent parties always lose seats in their president's first term, they also almost always lose seats when the electorate is concerned about the economy. In 2022, both are boosting the chances of Republican candidates," Blank said.

That is why it wouldn't be surprising to see the Republican Party "making gains across the board."

"But a wave election would be something of a surprise at this point in the contest," he concluded.


Graylan Hagler, the director of Faith Strategies, a social and political advocacy group, told Sputnik that the prognosis at the elections is quite grim for Democrats.

"I'm afraid that people will vote for .25 cents less at the gas pump. It's sad. They would sacrifice democracy and racial justice for their own little pocketbook," Hagler who is Pastor Emeritus Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ in Washington, DC said.

He admitted that the Democrats always make the fatal mistake of "latching onto one issue. "

"They argue about abortion but not racial justice. They argue about abortion but not about the economy. Democrats are scared and only cater to their white constituents," he said.

Speaking about the possible success of the Republicans, University of the District of Columbia Assistant Political Science Professor Monique Gamble said the problem is that Democrats "have big tent ideas."

"If the tent is one which focuses on racial justice, progressivism or centers on race, criminal justice, education, healthcare and generational wealth, these people will never be a part of this democracy. If it doesn't center on them, they don't care. Democrats refuse to acknowledge this," she said.

She recalled that many people in the US do not have access to healthcare, education and such and they will have less access to these things.

"There's always the notion that things can get better and we don't want to anticipate things getting worse but they will. There will be broad changes but smaller and significant changes at the state and local levels and education, reproductive justice, healthcare and access to quality of life will be affected," she said.

According to her, there are "realms of institutional political power that have rendered these things inaccessible to rural Black and brown people."

"What we're dealing with is a latent, overt, violent racism and racists blocking progress and a belief of what America could have been.... Wounds are open and have never been healed, looked at or tended to," she concluded.