Aid to threatened Ukraine, clash and Republican “momentum”… Le journal des midterms (J-18)

From our correspondent in the United States,

America votes in less than three weeks. Chamber, Senate, governors, secretaries of state… Hundreds of elections will reshuffle the cards during the midterms of November 8. And indirectly influence the future of Joe Biden and Donald Trump in view of the 2024 presidential election. “MAGA” wave or Democratic surprise, find the point of 20 minutes on the ballot.

News of the week: Early voting is in full swing

California, Ohio, Arizona, Georgia… Early voting is open in fifteen states. It is possible to do it in person, to avoid the queue on D-Day, or by correspondence. Georgia is flirting with the 2020 record, with nearly 400,000 people who went to the voting booth over three days, double the midterms of 2018. The great presidential bazaar could therefore be repeated, with a “red mirage (a Republican advance pending the counting of the postal vote), uncertain results and candidates tempted to claim victory before the hour, like Donald Trump.

Figure of the week: 15 million (barrels)

And if these midterms played at the pump? In 2022, the curve of Joe Biden’s unpopularity follows almost exactly that of the price of gasoline: when the gallon soared from 2.5 to 5 dollars between April and July, Biden went from 35% unhappy to 57 %. As prices have fallen all fall, Biden’s popularity has picked up. Problem: the bullish pressure starts again at the worst moment for him, at nearly 4 dollars per gallon. Taken by the throat by the drop in the quotas of OPEC and its allies, including Russia, the American president announced that the United States would draw 15 million additional barrels from their strategic reserves. To try to give families a boost… And maybe the Democrats.

The controversy of the week: Aid to Ukraine threatened in the event of a Republican victory

If the Republicans win the majority in the House, the Speaker will probably be Kevin McCarthy. The Californian representative warned that his party would not sign “a blank check” to Ukraine, an exit seen as a gesture to obtain the support of the populist wing of the party led by the Freedom caucus, to which the elected member belongs controversial Marjorie Taylor Greene. “These people don’t understand. It goes beyond Ukraine. It is Eastern Europe. It’s NATO,” Joe Biden thundered on Friday. At the end of September, only 10 Republicans in the House voted for a budget allocating $12 billion in aid to Ukraine. In anticipation of a possible paralysis in 2023, Joe Biden could try to have a new XXL envelope voted at the end of the year, before the new Congress takes office in January.

The clash of the week: Marco Rubio vs Val Demings

Can the rising Democratic star unseat a Republican heavyweight from the Senate in Florida? In the polls, former Orlando police chief Val Demings is about five points behind Marco Rubio. During their only televised debate, she attacked whenever she had the chance.

She fired her first scud on abortion: “No, senator, I don’t think it’s okay to force a 10-year-old rape victim to carry the seed of her rapist. Then another on the shootings: “How long are you going to watch idly Americans being shot in first grade, high school, university, church, supermarket or cinema without anything TO DO ? “. The former Republican candidate, who remains the big favorite, was less strong on the punchlines, but he insisted on inflation and illegal immigration.

Who has the “momentum”?

The donkey, symbol of the Democratic Party, against the Republican elephant, Trump, McConnell and McCarthy against Biden, Schumer and Pelosi... Who will win the midterm race on November 8?
The donkey, symbol of the Democratic Party, against the Republican elephant, Trump, McConnell and McCarthy against Biden, Schumer and Pelosi… Who will win the midterm race on November 8? – 20 minutes

This week, the winds are buoyant for the Republican Party. The Democratic momentum, with an electorate galvanized this summer by the defense of the right to abortion, seems to be running out of steam. According to the monthly barometer of New York Times, the Republican Party is ahead of the Democratic Party by four points (49% against 45%) in terms of voting intentions. In September, the Democrats were one point ahead. The economy and inflation remain the main concern for 44% of Americans, far ahead of abortion (5%). The Republicans are therefore more than ever favorites in the House. And if the Democrats maintain a narrow lead in the race for the Senate, everything should be played out in a handful of very uncertain states: Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Ohio.

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