Opinion: The red wave may still happen in 2024

The+midterm+elections+are+focused+on+the+two+chambers+of+Congress%3A+the+U.S.+Senate+and+the+House+of+Representatives.+Bidens+midterm+progress+report+includes+the+events+that+happened+in+his+first+and+second+year+as+president.+

Emma Yin

The midterm elections are focused on the two chambers of Congress: the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Biden’s midterm progress report includes the events that happened in his first and second year as president.

The results of the midterm elections have been nothing short of awe-striking and controversial. While Democrats rejoice in their unexpected progress, Republicans have started to prepare for the 2024 presidential election. Nevertheless, the Democratic win has slightly increased America’s confidence in the Biden administration and the Democratic Party during a time rife with political divisions. Biden’s midterm progress may begin to reverse his unfavorable reputation in the United States. 

Despite most media outlets predicting a guaranteed red tsunami, Democrats held their ground surprisingly well during the elections, winning a narrow majority in the Senate, dispelling any hopes of the expected Republican-led Congress. 

The Democratic Party’s success was a bitter pill to swallow for Republicans hoping to take control of the Senate, thus acquiring the ability to block federal decisions and hold off judicial appointees until the next election. Nevertheless, Republicans managed to gain control of the House of Representatives, leaving the legislative branch split between the two parties. 

Both the Democrats and Republicans made narrow victories in their respective arenas and it would be unlikely that Democrats will be able to pass any significant legislation during the coming term. Republicans, however, now control half of congress and the Supreme Court, thus effectively beginning a stream of “red policies” as exemplified by the reversal of Roe v. Wade and the ongoing review regarding the efficacy of a Democratic favorite: Affirmative Action. 

Nevertheless, the Democratic Party must maintain a neutral, progressive stance. It seems that the politicians on the extreme left have started to redefine the Democrats’ stances– placing greater emphasis on social justice issues instead of prioritizing economic stability– thus alienating their older voter base. 

Republicans, on the other hand, utilized the current administration’s inability to deal with the economy to their own advantage. 47% of voters claimed that they prioritized economics, according to AP VoteCast, two-thirds of these voters voted Republican in the midterms. Furthermore, 31% of voters said inflation was a priority in this election, and 7 out of 10 of this demographic voted Republican. 

Media outlets predicted a red wave in the 2022 midterm elections. The results were the opposite. (I Voted / Paul Sheehan / Creative Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Obviously, with Biden’s gross mishandling of America’s economic affairs, a red wave was nearly guaranteed. It seems, however, that Gen Z voters turned out in record numbers and overwhelmingly voted for Democrats, effectively canceling out voters from the age 60+ voter demographic, according to the Washington Post

Nevertheless, as Democrats breathe a sigh of relief, the threat of a red wave still looms over the heads of American citizens as the 2024 elections creep closer. It is likely that a red wave may still occur in the coming presidential election as Republican candidates have already begun to campaign for office.

Addressing the elephant in the room, former president Donald J. Trump officially announced his third campaign for executive office.

This time around, Trump is looking like a Richard Nixon meets George W. Bush. 

It seems that most moderate Republicans are exhausted with the controversies surrounding the former-President and are looking for a coherent, yet actionable candidate. This distaste is in part because of the Republican media’s turn away from Trump and the M.A.G.A. world.

It has become apparent that the love affair between Trump and the right-wing media base, Fox News, has gone sour, as the publication has openly expressed dislike for the president. Fox News wasted no time blaming Trump for the notably absent red wave in the midterm elections, claiming that Republicans, “must look at reality and facts” and that Trump’s ambitions met neither. 

Prominent evangelical Christian figures who previously supported Trump have turned on him following his controversial third run for president. 

“The average evangelical Christian is a faith-based person. Donald Trump does not personify biblical values. So, although they very much admire his policies, they honestly don’t admire the person,” said Mike Evans, who helped mobilize evangelical support for Trump in 2016, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. “He does not have the support of the evangelicals that he did.”

In an essay sent to The Washington Post, Evans accused Trump of using evangelical support to propel him to the presidency. “Donald Trump can’t save America. He can’t even save himself. He used us to win the White House. We had to close our mouths and eyes when he said things that horrified us,” Evans said. “I cannot do that anymore.”

Furthermore, The Daily Wire, an American conservative news website and media company founded by right-wing political commentator, Ben Shapiro, and the rest of the Daily Wire team has shifted away from Trump, claiming that “it’s time for Trump to go away” and for Republicans to “get serious.” Instead, many Republican leaders have started to openly endorse other candidates for president.

Despite not having announced an official campaign for President, it seems that Florida’s governor, Ronald DeSantis, will become the Republican Party’s 2024 GOP nominee if, and when, he decides to run for office. 

Trump paved DeSantis’ way to success, but it seems that the apprentice has turned on master, garnering tremendous support from Trump’s former fanbase. For the Republican Party, DeSantis has become a much more appealing version of Trump, as he is a much younger candidate who has seemingly breathed fresh air into the conservative party. 

As conservatives scramble to disassociate from Trump, they’re looking to DeSantis as their potential presidential upgrade. During the pandemic, the governor became the face of the rising free-speech movement as he resisted imposing restrictions including face mask mandates, stay-at-home orders, and vaccination requirements. 

Unfortunately for the Democratic Party, despite dodging a bullet in the midterms, a red wave may be inevitable in the 2024 presidential elections. It’s still too early to predict any outstanding presidential nominees for the Democratic National Convention, but it is highly unlikely that the incumbent president will be his party’s presidential nominee if he runs.

Biden’s economic policies have been nothing short of disappointing, his foreign policy is disastrous, his administration has fallen short on domestic policies and his party seems to be falling apart. On an international stage, American politics has become somewhat of a farce as American allies start to turn away from the crumbling nation. 

Americans, across the board, fear that the eighty-year-old president is too old to hold the most important position in global politics. While some make fun of Biden’s alleged cognitive decline, others worry that he isn’t in the correct physical or mental state to be the leader of the free world.

California governor, Gavin Newsom hasn’t officially announced his campaign, but has hinted at his presidential ambitions. (Gavin Newsom/Gage Skidmore/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0)

While no Democratic candidate has officially announced a campaign for the 2024 elections, prospective candidates Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and California governor Gavin Newsom are no match for DeSantis, who has become the darling of the Republican Party. 

Progressive candidates have become increasingly unwilling to compromise with conservatives. Instead of working to meet the needs of middle America, they alienate the very people they intend to serve. Instead of uniting and playing on each other’s strengths, Democrats and Republicans continuously take opposing positions on every issue.

It is still too early to discern whether the Democrats will be able to suppress another red wave, but it is highly unlikely that Biden or the Democratic Party will be able to produce a political candidate popular enough to match DeSantis’ popularity. 

For now, the Democrats have relied entirely on social justice issues to keep them relevant and afloat. Whether it be the topic of abortion or the recurring Black Lives Matter protests, Democrats have utilized social justice to keep them in the headlines. Obviously, while abortion was on the ballot for the midterm elections, other social issues like racism and sexism will make a reappearance on the presidential ballot, garnering much of the progressive vote. 

Nevertheless, only time will tell whether Democrats will be able to defeat a passionate Republican force. It would be in the Democratic Party’s best interest to take a moderate political approach to domestic and international issues. Perhaps it’s time to put our differences aside and come together, not as the Democrats and Republicans, but as Americans.