Washington, U.S. | Xinhua | U.S. President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that 2022 midterm voters are “frustrated,” as control of the next Congress is still up in the air.
“The voters were also clear that they’re still frustrated,” Biden told reporters at the White House. “I understand it’s been a really tough few years in this country for so many people.”
An exit poll released by NBC News showed that a majority of 2022 voters said they are dissatisfied or angry about the way things are going in the United States.
The voters also named inflation as the most important issue in deciding how they cast their ballots.
Biden attributed inflation in the United States — highest in decades — to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict without mentioning his administration’s spending and monetary policies.
Forty-seven percent of voters said their families’ financial situations are worse than they were two years ago, according to the NBC News exit poll.
Asked about the effects of inflation, a large share of voters — 59 percent — said it caused them or their families moderate hardship, while 20 percent more said it caused them severe hardship.
Midterm voters also continue to feel pain at the pump. The survey found a majority of voters nationwide — 65 percent — say that the gas prices have been a financial hardship for them recently.
“Voters spoke clearly about their concerns — about raising costs — the rising costs and the need to get inflation down,” Biden acknowledged on Wednesday. “There are still a lot of people hurting that are very concerned.”
Dozens of races in this year’s elections have yet to be called, leaving control of the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives still unclear.
Republicans are still favored to win the House majority but their gains haven’t been as large as previously predicted.
“This isn’t going to be a red tidal wave,” University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato said.
Senate races in Arizona and Nevada are still undecided as Georgia’s contest is heading to a runoff next month.
Neither Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock nor Republican challenger Herschel Walker surpassed the threshold to win the Georgia race.
The candidates will therefore face off against each other in a Dec. 6 runoff election that will determine who will sit in the U.S. Senate next term.
Under Georgia’s election laws, a candidate must receive at least 50 percent plus one to win an election outright.
House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Tuesday night that “it is clear we are going to take the House back” as vote counting continues.
A party needs to control 218 seats in the 435-member House to have a majority. As of Wednesday night, a CNN tally showed that Republicans had secured 208 seats while Democrats had taken 189 others.
McCarthy, who announced his intention to run for speaker of the House on Wednesday, told CNN on Monday that Republicans seek to secure the border, cut back on government spending, and launch investigations into the Biden administration.
Biden responded to McCarthy’s remarks on Wednesday, saying that “we still have a possibility of keeping the House but it’s going to be close.”
As to potential Republican efforts to put a check on him and his agenda, Biden said, “I think the American public want us to move on and get things done for them.”
“They don’t want every day going forward to be a constant political battle,” he continued, warning the United States against being “trapped in an endless political warfare.”