As if Democrats needed anything else to convince themselves that the stakes are high in Tuesday’s midterm elections, President Joe Biden gave an assessment of the situation should Republicans take control of Congress, during a fundraiser last Friday in Chicago.
“If we lose the House and the Senate, it’s going to be a horrible two years,” Biden told the small crowd gathered in a hotel ballroom, where cameras were not allowed. “The good news is that I will have a veto pen.”
After two years of Democratic control of Congress, a change in leadership in the House of Representatives or the Senate — or both — will take the Biden presidency into a whole new phase. Biden himself has been optimistic in the final days of the campaign, but the reality is that Democrats could soon lose their majority in Congress, and with it Biden’s ability to pass his top priorities.
White House officials have begun to point out that their losses will not be as severe as those in previous midterm elections, including in 2010, and say that the fact that Democrats have any chance of putting up a fight is a positive sign for Biden. But his advisers privately acknowledge that they see no viable path for Democrats to maintain their majority in the House of Representatives, even though the president and his aides enter the day with the view that the prospect of Democrats maintaining their majority in the House Senate is real, although it may take days, or more, to become a reality.
However, even a loss of a few seats — Republicans only need to pick up five seats to take control of the House of Representatives — would mean dramatic changes for the president.