Recent polling data from US media outlets show that the Biden administration is unlikely to buck that trend. Disapproval ratings for President Biden were high across issues including the economy, inflation and foreign policies. An average of 67.4 per cent of those polled felt that the country was on the “wrong track”.
Analysts said that the Republicans are expected to win the House, with the Senate considered a toss-up.
“Right now, it seems like voters are more focused on inflation, economy, immigration and crime – issues that favour the Republicans. They are not as focused on issues that favour Democrats like … health care and gun control,” said Mr Okun.
However, an unpopular ruling made by the Supreme Court to overturn abortion as a constitutional right in June, is one major issue that is expected to drive up Democratic votes and bring independent votes away from the Republicans, he said.
TRUMP-BACKED CANDIDATES CAN HELP HIM MAKE 2024 COMEBACK
Key battleground states for the Senate include Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania, where the margin of victory in the last election was close, said Mr Okun, adding that if the incumbent Democrats could hold on to their seats there, the party may get to keep the Senate.
However, Republican challengers in the three hotly contested areas, as well as several others, have the backing of Mr Trump, and winning seats in the Senate can set a strong foundation for the former president to run again in 2024.
“If his hand-picked candidates win those seats, it gives Donald Trump more power in the Republican Party than he would have otherwise,” said Mr Okun. “If he comes out of this on top, it makes him a much stronger candidate going into 2024.”
Mr Okun said that a comeback by Mr Trump, or having a president with an “America-first” mindset in the White House, will be bad news for Asia, as it will see a repeat of pro-alliance policies in limbo.
“Allies who work with the US, like for example, Singapore and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) – the partnership agreement that the United States is putting forward to re-engage in Asia – that goes away under Donald Trump,” said Mr Okun.
“So this (mid-term) election is so important, probably the most important mid-term election the United States has had from a foreign policy perspective … it’s extremely consequential.”