Midterms are generally rough on the ruling party, but the Democrats saw a silver lining to the cloud.
It went a little something like this.
The red wave comes in, Republicans take the House and Senate. Dems quickly start blaming the bad economy on Congressional Republicans.
The loss of the House and Senate are treated as a referendum on Biden and his party has an easier time nudging him to the exit.
The Dems get their house in order for 2024. Biden agrees not to run. The bench of Dem candidates has the time to polish their campaigns and begin an orderly succession process.
In 2024, the Dems have a fresh candidate and are running against the “Republican Congress” while blaming them for the state of the economy and everything else.
Part of that scenario may still be salvageable, but Biden has become much harder to budge. He’s claiming the midterms as a personal validation and with the polls seemingly this far off, the arguments against him are now much weaker.
I still think the Dems will find a way to push Biden and Kamala to the curve, but it’s no longer a done deal.
Electorally, 2022 was a mess, but politically the Republicans may emerge in better shape for 2024 than the Democrats did. A 2024 Biden candidacy is a nightmare and 2022 has made it more likely.