Five reasons why Democrats should get ready for a ‘five alarm fire’ in 2022 midterms

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Like tsunamis in the ocean, political tidal waves form after a seismic interruption – something there has been no shortage of in Joe Biden’s America. It’s ironic for the man who promised a return to normalcy. 

On Biden’s watch, words like “inflation” and “supply chain” have gone from esoteric terms in academic textbooks to daily problems around kitchen tables. Everyday necessities have become unaffordable (gasoline) or unavailable (baby formula).

Against that backdrop, voters will head to the polls in less than five months to render judgment on the Biden administration. The first midterm is never fun for the party in charge, but this one looks like a five-alarm fire. Here are five reasons why:

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First, Biden’s support among Hispanics, a voting bloc he carried by a two-to-one margin in 2020, is cratering. While this trend isn’t new – a Quinnipiac University poll earlier this spring showed his approval rating among Hispanics at just 26 percent – Tuesday night brought a fresh wake-up call when a Republican candidate comfortably carried a special election in south Texas for the first time in a century and a half. 

Biden won the same district, which is 85 percent Hispanic, two years ago, yet Republican Mayra Flores, a first-time candidate, is heading to Washington as the first Mexican-born member of the U.S. House of Representatives. With illegal border crossing apprehensions hitting new all-time highs, turns out voters are looking for a new direction.

Second, gas prices are soaring, the administration is out of answers and no relief is in sight. It would be a politically deadly combination heading into any summer driving season, even more so for a country yearning to travel post lockdown. A gallon of gasoline averaged $2.39 when this administration took office. 

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Today, it tops $5 dollars, a number once seen unimaginable. Instead of solutions, Biden and crew continue to borrow a page from the Elizabeth Warren playbook by demonizing the private sector. 

The national average cost per gallon of gas exceeded $5 over the weekend as the Biden administration struggles to respond to rising costs. 

The national average cost per gallon of gas exceeded $5 over the weekend as the Biden administration struggles to respond to rising costs.  (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

It’s bad enough America’s energy producers have been on the receiving end of a regulatory climate intentionally designed to end their existence in pursuit of a green fantasy. Now they are subject to outright threats from Biden’s “emergency powers.”

Biden Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has all but thrown in the towel by admitting, “This summer is going to be rough.”

Third, the inflation Biden and crew dismissed as “transitory” has come roaring back. On the heels of last week’s 8.6 percent uptick, the Federal Reserve announced its most aggressive interest rate hike in nearly three decades. 

BIDEN LOSES CONTROL OF INFLATION, AND THE TRUST OF AMERICAN PEOPLE

As dire as things may be, they were on track to be even worse had Biden gotten his desired $3.5 trillion spending package, which was thankfully stymied by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-Va. Remarkably, Biden remains in denial about inflation, dismissing them as “lies about reckless spending.”

Fourth, Biden has lost the ability to scare voters. His dire warnings about “MAGA Republicans” do not pack a punch when the stock market has shed $11 trillion dollars and taken retirement accounts with them.

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Finally, and perhaps, worst of all, doubts about Biden’s age and ability are no longer related to his partisan critics. Even his fellow Democrats are openly musing about the next chapter. Stating the obvious, former Obama Senior Adviser David Axelrod raised eyebrows when he described Biden’s age as a “major issue.” The embattled White House press office is already fending off questions about Biden’s re-election prospects. The succession jostling has already begun, which ironically, may be Biden’s saving grace.

President Biden speaks about inflation and supply chain issues at the Port of Los Angeles, Friday, June 10, 2022, in Los Angeles. 

President Biden speaks about inflation and supply chain issues at the Port of Los Angeles, Friday, June 10, 2022, in Los Angeles.  ((AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes))

Any list of would-be standard-bearers consists of the retreads (Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker), the extremes (Senators Warren and Bernie Sanders, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) or those associated with the failures of the current administration (Vice President and border czar Kamala Harris, Transportation Secretary and supply chain guru Pete Buttigieg). For all the ink spilled on the future of the GOP, it turns out the Democrat bench is utterly devoid of talent.

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That’s not exactly a compelling message to carry into battle, but it might be Biden’s bet to shore up support from wavering Democrats: “I’m the only chance you’ve got.” 

Less than halfway through his first term, the man who came into office having received the most votes in history and relishing comparisons to FDR and LBJ is a walking lame duck – and that’s before the political tidal wave hits the shore. 

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Colin Reed is a Republican strategist, former campaign manager for Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and co-founder of South and Hill Strategies. 

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