Legislative Update, October 31, 2022
Policy Makers Events:
U.S. Senator Tom Carper will be the featured Policy Makers speaker for November:
Monday, November 7, 2022, 11:30 a.m., Hilton Wilmington-Christiana, 100 Continental Drive, Newark, DE 19713. http://business.ncccc.com/events/details/policy-makers-lunch-with-senator-tom-carper-6054?calendarMonth=2022-11-01
Interest Rate Increases Place Current Federal Federal Reserve Lending in the Red
The Wall Street Journal reports that recent aggressive interest rate hikes undertaken to battle inflation have brought about a current operating loss. In essence, the amount in interest it is paying to financial institutions who keep their money with the Fed exceeds the income it is earns on the roughly $8.3 trillion in Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities it maintains. The current losses follow years of the Federal Reserve earning about $100 billion on the same portfolio. The current operating loss will not impact their ability to conduct monetary policy. Should the losses reach a certain point, the Federal Reserve will create an IOU on its balance sheet which would be paid off when they are operating at a profit once again. It would take precedence over profit going directly to the Treasury until the IOU is satisfied.
The General Election is November 8!
The General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8. A list of all candidates on the ballot in Delaware can be found at https://elections.delaware.gov/services/candidate/genl_fcddt_2022.shtml..
- Early voting is available this year. Should you choose to vote early, there are sites in all three counties. Early voting begins on Friday, October 28. Information on early voting locations and hours can be found at https://elections.delaware.gov/information/elections/votinglocations.shtml#ev-sites.
- If you choose to vote at the polls on election day, you can look up your polling place at the following link https://ivote.de.gov/VoterView.
- Information on voting by absentee ballot can be found at https://elections.delaware.gov/services/voter/absentee/index.shtml
- Contact information for the Department of Elections in Dover, and in all three counties, can be found at https://elections.delaware.gov/locations.shtml.
Data on U.S. House and Senate Mid-Term Elections
Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Delaware, At Large) is being challenged by Republican, Lee Murphy. Statewide, as of September 1, the voter registration totals are as follows.: 362,002 Democrats, 209,358 Republicans, 171,136 Unaffiliated, 18,292 Other/Third Party.
As for the rest of the Congressional races on the ballot this year, there is a substantial likelihood that the U.S. House of Representatives will shift to a Republican majority. All House seats are on the ballot in the various states. Real Clear Politics (which aggregates leading polls and analyzes races) indicates the following:
- For the Democrats, there are 174 seats which fall into the categories of “safe” (146), “Likely Dem” (16) or “Leans Dem” (12).
- For Republicans, they place 225 seats in the categories of “safe” (178), “Likely GOP” (20), or “Leans GOP” (30). They project that the Republicans could flip 22 current Democratic seats, with 5 of those in the “Likely GOP” column and 17 in the “Leans GOP” column.
- There are 32 seats which are current classed as “Toss-Ups.” Among the “Toss-Ups” are 28 current Democratic seats and 4 current Republican seats. The threshold to secure a majority is 218 seats out of 435.
Given the data above, the Republican advantage is clear. An aggregate of polling data as of the close of last week indicates that the in the Generic Congressional Ballot, Republicans lead by 3 points. House races are very local and impacted by how district lines were drawn (most often by state legislatures). This is the first election following the decennial census, so House districts have been redrawn since 2020.
In the United States Senate, as in every congressional election year, one-third of the Senate is on the ballot. While there is a path to Democrats maintaining their majority, which currently stands at 50-50 with Vice President Harris as the tie-breaking vote, there is a reasonable chance that Republicans will take the majority. Real Clear Politics indicates the following for the Senate:
- For Democrats, there are 40 seats which are either “Safe” or not on the ballot. RCP places 3 seat in the “Likely Dem” column, with 2 more in the “Leans Dem” category for a total of 46.
- For Republicans, there are 42 seats which are “Safe” or not on the ballot. RCP places 2 in the “Likely GOP” column and 4 in the “Leans GOP” category, for a total of 47.
- RCP places 7 seats in the “Toss-Up” category. In that group are (*=incumbent, polling data an aggregated based on leading polls):
- Arizona, Mark Kelly (D)* vs. Blake Masters (R) (Currently Dem), Kelly +2.4 (10/11 – 10/26)
- Georgia, Raphael Warnock (D)* vs. Herschel Walker (R) (Currently Dem) Walker +1.4 (10/15-10/27)
- New Hampshire, Maggie Hassan (D)* vs. Don Bolduc (Currently Dem) Hassan +3.4 (10/4-10/23) Republican challenger Bolduc has narrowed the lead from +5.8 for Hassan last week.
- Nevada, Catherine Cortez-Masto (D)* vs. Adam Laxalt (R) (Currently Dem) Laxalt +1 (10/13 –10/24)
- Pennsylvania, John Fetterman (D) vs. Mehmet Oz (R) (Open Seat, Currently Republican) Fetterman +1.5 (10/19-10/26)
- Washington, Patty Murray (D)* vs. Tiffany Smiley (R), Murray +5
- Wisconsin, Ron Johnson (R)* vs. Mandela Barnes (D) (Currently Republican), Johnson +3.310/3– 10/22)
Presidential Approval Rating Data (aggregated):
- Presidential Biden Job Approval (10/9-10/23): 42.7% Approve, 54.3% Disapprove, Spread = -11.6
- Direction of the Country (10/9-10/20): 25.9% Right Direction, 67% Wrong Track, Spread = -41.1