Less than nine weeks to go before the midterm elections. Republicans are expected to hold onto their majority in the House and possibly gain control of the Senate as well. Turnout will be key and, like many previous midterm votes, could be low especially with a mere 14% approval rating for Congress and 42% rating for President Obama.
The economy will continue to be an issue as it always is every election, but it may not be the most important one because the economy has been improving. Unemployment is down and growth is up but the rebound is not universal.
"You're not seeing wage growth...You're not seeing the average American do better than they were doing before," says Sudeep Reddy, economics editor at The Wall Street Journal. "The gains have gone disproportionately to the wealthiest Americans, to corporations...That's how the dividing lines are going to come down in the midterm elections."
The big divider, says Reddy, is the role the government should play in shaping the economy, including policies like the minimum wage. "That's a rallying point for Democrats," says Reddy. "Anyone who works should earn at least a wage that allows them to get by."
In contrast, he says, "Republicans are leaning toward the business view: If you raise the base wage for American workers there will be fewer jobs available." Reddy adds, "It's pretty clear that businesses have been reluctant to hire," and Republicans will argue that growth and therefore hiring will be stronger if they capture the Senate and control both houses of Congress.
If Republicans do capture the Senate, however, they may try to overturn the Affordable Care Act or at least force some significant changes in the law, according to The National Journal. That could impact the economy as well as the pocketbooks of many Americans.
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