Republicans’ Odds for Taking the Senate Jump After Spending $450 Million, Economy High Priority

The Republicans have slowly regained their lead in the race to control the Senate. They’re still down from their 79% lead in April, but they are slowly gaining back ground.

The Boost They Need

Analysts think that inflation is the cause of this recovery.

“Recent polls indicate a bit of a momentum fade for the Democrats, as voter anxiety over the economy and inflation exceeds concern over abortion,” said Greg Valliere, chief U.S. policy strategist at AGF Investments. The biggest issue continues to be inflation; the late summer drop in gasoline prices has not persuaded voters that inflation has peaked.”

PredictIt has given Republicans a 78% chance of taking control of the House after they had a low of 72% in August and a high of 92% in June.

Analysts believe that the Democrats are currently leading the race for the Senate in part because Republicans have chosen weak candidates in key races. Most of the Democratic hopefuls have held some sort of office before, whereas most of the Republicans have not. Many of the candidates have also never won any political position either, which can hurt their chances because having won some sort of political race is a sign that a candidate is acceptable to voters.

The Republican nominees for Senate in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have never held elected office before.

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It’s All About the Money, Honey

One of the biggest factors in the tug-of-war for the Senate is money. Outside spending has been pouring into the Senate races this year. Around $450 million has been spent so far, according to OpenSecrets, a watchdog group that tracks spending in politics.

Super PACs have spent more than double what they did in 2018, and the total is just $41 million shy of the total from the 2020 election. This increase can be attributed to both Chambers of Congress being seen as fair game for either party. There are also a few highly contested primaries, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, where large amounts of spending were centralized. The Democrats only control the Senate currently because Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaker vote.

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Future Agendas

Republicans are hoping to take both the House and the Senate so that they can shake up the president’s agenda. They will likely provide aggressive oversight of the administration’s regulators and take action on issues such as crime and the child tax credit. Historically, the party belonging to the first-term president has lost congressional ground in the midterms.

Hot Button Issues

Voters will be keeping an eye out for candidates who make their top issues their priority. Abortion rights, inflation, gas prices, and the housing market are an example of some of the issues voters are most worried about going into this election.

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