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GOP expects big election wins; Biden's agenda falters. Here's a look at politics in 2022

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As the 2022 midterm elections fast approach, here are some politicians Americans should be watching. 

Not long ago, the the Republican Party was hitting bottom.

The GOP had lost the presidency and House in November 2020 and would soon squander its Senate majority early in 2021 — then watch with horror as supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol last Jan. 6.

What a difference a year makes.

A resurgent GOP is now poised to reclaim one or both congressional chambers in 2022, while retaining its lock on dozens of state legislatures and governor’s offices. Republican confidence is fueled by President Joe Biden’s underwhelming poll numbers, a Democratic economic and social agenda that’s faltering, intensifying concerns about inflation, and deepening frustration with the pandemic now unleashing yet another infection surge.

At its most basic level, though, GOP optimism is born of the same political headwinds that have shaped U.S. politics for decades. The party that controls the White House has a tremendous disadvantage in the first election of a new presidency.

“We’re going to have a hell of a year,” said Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who leads the national GOP’s Senate campaign arm.

Republican-controlled legislatures have aided the Republicans’ potential House fortunes by drawing new congressional districts that are even more favorable to the party.

Many Republican legislatures have also enacted laws making it more difficult to vote in response to Trump’s false claims of voter fraud. That’s expected to disproportionately affect Democratic-leaning African Americans and Latinos.

NPR News reports a recent poll suggests Americans are beginning to lose faith in President Joe Biden and the Democratic party. According to the latest NPR/Marist poll, Americans are unpleased with the Biden administration's work thus far. 

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's Democratic governor pitched sweeping budget proposals Thursday evening as “bold investments” to bolster the state's competitiveness, calling for more spending on economic development, social services and his plan for state-backed universal preschool.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Voting legislation that Democrats and civil rights leaders say is vital for protecting democracy appeared headed for defeat as the Senate churned into debate Tuesday, a devastating setback enabled by President Joe Biden’s own party as two holdout senators refuse to support rule changes to overcome a Republican filibuster.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's top diplomat angrily rejected U.S. allegations that Moscow was preparing a pretext to invade Ukraine, as Russian troops that are amassed near the Ukraine border launched more drills Monday.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A former sheriff in South Carolina convicted of abusing his power and stealing money from government programs will likely spend about four to five years in federal prison, a judge has determined.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Senate will not consider contentious Republican-backed legislation that supporters say would have increased parental control over what their kids learn but that teachers and other critics say would have amounted to censorship, a top lawmaker said Friday.

WASHINGTON (AP) — All but conceding defeat, President Joe Biden said Thursday he’s now unsure the Democrats' major elections and voting rights legislation can pass Congress this year. He spoke at the Capitol after a key fellow Democrat, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, dramatically announced her refusal to go along with changing Senate rules to muscle the bill past a Republican filibuster.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Two days after the election on Nov. 3, 2020, the Oath Keepers were already convinced that victory had been stolen from President Donald Trump and members of the far-right militia group were making plans to march on the U.S. Capitol.

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