There are a number of words we use to describe a
powerful storm, including tornado, hurricane, gale,
cyclone, typhoon, and tempest — and words we use
to describe a powerful influx of water, including flood,
tide, wave and tsunami — so just the right word to
describe a powerful mass human action might
employ any of these.
A few days before the 2022 national U.S. midterm
election, there is growing evidence that the voters in
this cycle might deliver a powerful message to those
who hold political power, but it is not clear if this
electoral statement will be relatively uniform across
the country or more localized to a particular region.
If the electoral message were to be from the West
and West Coast, we might prefer to call it a typhoon
like the storms in the Pacific Ocean, If it comes from
the Midwest, we might prefer tornado or cyclone, If
from the South, we might call it a hurricane like the
storms that rage through the Caribbean and Gulf of
Mexico. If from the East, the word we might choose is
a gale. If it occurs in all regions, it will likely be called
It is not known if the voters will make any kind of storm.
Like weather forecasting, political predictions are
ultimately guesswork. Both use a variety of statistics,
and often rely on precedents, but until a storm hits or
voters actually vote no one knows with certainty what
Pundits also designate a partisan nature to their
assessment of a vote by applying “red” to Republicans,
“blue” to Democrats, and “purple” to a mixed result.
This color code acts as a shorthand method, but it only
describes the winners and losers. There is no color
applied to independents or non-affiliated voters
because candidates who are neither Democratic nor
Republican very rarely win elections. An exception to
this are the occasional environmental issue voters and
candidates who are labeled “green.”
The 2022 national mid-term elections do not seem
likely to fail to make an interim judgment of the voter
mood. In 1934, newly-elected (in 1932) President
Franklin Roosevelt was so popular that his party gained
nine seats from Republicans in the U.S. house, and
Republicans lost ten U.S. senate seats. The only other
times that happened was in 1998 and 2002. More
frequently, the party of the incumbent first-term president
loses seats in the Congress, sometimes dramatically, as
happened in 1994 and 2010.
[Incidentally, one of the 1934 Democratic senate pick-ups
was by a former haberdasher in Missouri named Harry
Democratic Joe Biden has one of the most unfavorable
voter ratings in the first two years of his first term of any
president in U.S. history. How this will color the results of
the imminent 2022 midterm elections, however, is not yet
clear. Both houses of Congress are currently controlled
by his Democratic Party.
It is very unlikely that 2022 will resemble 1934, but it isn’t
yet likely it will resemble 1994 or 2010.
Voter-made storms often don’t become visible until a few
days or weeks before Election Day.
Copyright (c) 2022 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.