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Opinion

US midterm elections a referendum on Biden

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

The high inflation rates and the low approval rating of President Joseph Biden are causing a debacle among Democrats. One third of the 100 senators representing the 50 states have submitted themselves to the voters' judgment yesterday. Many of the Democratic candidates were pulled down by their affiliation with the White House. The Americans are losing confidence in the administration, and former president Trump is the happiest guy in town as he is preparing to stage a comeback in 2024.

The 100 US senators are divided into three clusters. This time 34 senators belonging to the third cluster ran in yesterday's midterm polls. Prior to the elections, the Democrats had a slim majority of only one Senate seat. Thus, the Republicans only needed only to retain all their Senate seats plus one more. Among this cluster is the former presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, and other bigwigs like Rand Paul, Chuck Schumer, and Ron Johnson. One of the most hotly-contested seats is between Pennsylvania's Republican incumbent Mehmet Oz and Democrat challenger, Lt. Governor John Fetterman. The Democrat was the early favorite but he suffered a stroke and is finding it difficult to communicate and campaign.

One of the biggest game changers and disruptors in the elections yesterday is the immigration issue. Some 76% of the Republican voters consider this issue very critical but on the part of the Democrats, only 36% of their members consider the immigration issue a crucial decision point to influence their votes. Many Americans are gravely concerned about the rising incidence of illegal crossings driven allegedly by the Biden administration's nonchalant and mediocre immigration policy. Two million people from Mexico and other South American countries have been caught by the Border and Customs Patrol, and many Republicans consider this emerging phenomenon as a virtual invasion of America.

Joe Biden is pulling the Democrats down. In less than a year time from his historic feat of having been the US president with the highest number of votes, he became one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. Biden ascended to the presidency with the highest ambitions and high-sounding premises. He raised the expectations of the Americans, only to be put to task for the economic downturn, the runaway inflation rates, the high unemployment rates, and the high prices of gas. Bill Galston, a senior of government study at the Brookings Institution, said that whenever presidents make high promises, there is bound to be a corresponding backlash when they fail to deliver on their promises.

The House press secretary, Jen Psaki, explained the Biden unpopularity as follows: People are tired, worried and anxious. They worry about their families, their work, and the overall economic conditions. People were discontented with how Biden handled the COVID crisis. They have misgivings on the president's handling of the economy, and many are criticizing his policies, decisions, and actions relative to China and North Korea's misbehavior in the Asia-Pacific region.

Americans also took the Biden government to task on its handling of the Ukraine crisis and his lack of leadership in the UN and NATO. Biden lacks the political savvy of Barack Obama, the charisma of Bill Clinton, and the moral strength of Jimmy Carter.

The president's popularity or lack of it, was reflected in yesterday's midterm elections. With such results, he will find it very hard to beat Trump if he opts to fight him in 2024 in a return bout. At the end of the day, what devastated Biden and the Democrats are the economy, the high inflation, the high prices of gas, the high unemployment rates, the high incidence of crimes, and the diaspora of invading illegal immigrants.

President Joe Biden will have a gloomy Christmas and an even gloomier New Year. Such a pity for a decent and honest man. His fate is somehow like that of Jimmy Carter. At least, Carter, at 98, is still alive. Biden might be dead politically. Sayang.

JOE BIDEN

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