Midterm elections—those which occur near the midpoint of a president’s four-year term in the United States—are typically viewed by policymakers as a referendum on the president’s party. If citizens approve of the job the president is doing, his party typically fares well. If not, it doesn’t.
But this year, with a veritable bingo-card of polarizing issues on the table, might the midterms be viewed as a litmus test for voters’ morals, instead? As the U.S. marches steadily toward Nov. 8, high-profile gun violence makes headlines again and again, a Congressional committee investigates the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that may well amount to criminal conspiracy, states restrict or outlaw abortion access, and hate crimes skyrocket, all while inflation reaches its highest point in decades.