Economic Message Vital for Republicans’ Hold on Congress, Experts Say

The state of the economy plays a crucial role in driving electoral outcomes. However, it remains to be seen whether Republicans can hone their midterm message enough to turn the currently booming economy into a political victory this fall, according to political analysts.

Economic growth climbed above 4 percent in the second quarter, while the unemployment rate sits at 3.9 percent, near its lowest level in 18 years. U.S. job openings have surged to record-high levels and wages are finally starting to rise.

Even with all the good economic headlines, public polls, as well as historical data, suggest that Republicans are likely to lose ground, particularly in the House.

In November’s midterms, all 435 House seats and 35 Senate seats will be up for election. To gain control, the Democrats need to grab 23 seats in the House and two seats in the Senate.

Historical data also suggests that the president’s party almost always loses seats in the midterms. In the 21 midterm elections since 1934, the president’s party has lost ground in one or both chambers in all but three elections, according to Ford O’Connell, a political analyst and Republican strategist.

“History is working against the Republicans, despite the great economic numbers,” he said, adding that the single biggest factor in a midterm election is the party that controls the White House.

The average loss for the incumbent party in the House in a midterm election is usually about 25 to 27 and the average losses in the Senate is typically four, according to O’Connell.

According to O’Connell, Republican voters are complacent and the party needs to find a solution to the “enthusiasm gap problem.”

“The economy is going good, but the economy is not going to be enough for Republicans,” he said. “They have to remind voters of the consequences of giving power back to Democrats.”

Read more from Emel Akan at The Epoch Times

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Analysis & Political Strategy