Published March 11, 2022
The unfolding Russian invasion of Ukraine is having major effects on national politics in the U.S., with decisions made today by President Joe Biden affecting the upcoming 2022 midterm and 2024 elections.
Jacob Neiheisel, associate professor of political science. College of Arts and Sciences, says that unless the situation in Ukraine improves soon, Democrats should expect losses come November.
“In short, it’s a mess and I don’t see any way that the Democrats don’t get blamed for this come November, short of a ceasefire in the next couple of weeks followed by an historic effort to rebuild Ukraine on the scale of a Marshall Plan,” Neiheisel says.
He says voters are likely to hold competing considerations surrounding the issue.
“The general consensus is that inflation hurts the party that controls the White House,” Neiheisel explains. “Rising costs of gasoline may be forgiven to some extent by the fact that the vast majority of the country agrees that Russia needs to be sanctioned, but that is going to have its limits. Voters typically have no problem holding contradictory views; for example, wanting to sanction Russia, but also wanting lower gas prices.”
Biden’s decision to shut off Russian oil and purchase from other countries is most likely too little, too late.
“This is why the administration extended an olive branch to Venezuela and Iran, but it will take some time to replace Russian oil with oil coming from other places, even if all parties agree tomorrow that they will pick up the slack,” Neiheisel says.