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In a special Trends Talk webinar hosted by the Risk Management and Insurance Program at the VCU School of Business, Bob Holsworth, Ph.D., a leading political analyst in Virginia, discussed the current political landscape and predictions ahead of the 2022 midterm elections on Tuesday, November 8. 

Holsworth began the November 3 webinar by reflecting on the House of Representatives at a national level, asserting that Democrats face significant headwinds ahead of Tuesday’s election. Historically, the trend suggests that the political party not in power at the time of the election will fare better in the midterms. This trend, combined with historic inflation and low presidential approval ratings, could open the gates for a red wave come Election Day.

Locally in Virginia, there are 11 House seats up for grabs on November 8. How these local elections play out may serve as indicators for what might happen nationally, according to Holsworth. He cited three races to keep a close eye on in particular: Democrat Elaine Luria and Republican Jen Kiggans in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District; Democrat Abigail Spanberger and Republican Yesli Vega in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District; and Democrat Jennifer Wexton and Republican Hung Cao in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. 

Looking at the Senate races, there are three states receiving the most national attention: Nevada, Pennsylvania and Georgia. Whichever party is able to capture two of these three states will be in a good place coming out of the midterms, according to Holsworth.

Political polling has been a source of debate in recent years, and Holsworth pointed to the fact that telephone polling is on the way out. Fewer and fewer people are answering telephone calls for political polls, and Holsworth predicts this will be the last election when the majority of polls are conducted via telephone. He predicts a shift to online and text format. 

When asked where risk managers should prioritize their time and attention given the political trends and predictions, Holsworth suggested focusing on security. Given recent attacks on political figures and the increased polarization and violent threats amongst opposing parties, Holsworth recommends doubling down on security for both leadership and general populations. He also recommends keeping a close eye on the fluctuating economy and the impacts on markets.

Bob Holsworth is a leading political analyst in Virginia and was the founding director of both the Center for Public Policy and the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at VCU. He is currently a managing principal in DecideSmart, a firm that provides analysis and planning assistance to agencies, local governments, nonprofits and private sector companies.

For more information about VCU Business or the Risk Management and Insurance Program, visit the School of Business website. For a complete list of upcoming events at VCU Business, visit the events page.

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