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Hard Numbers: Biden threatens oil companies, Georgia runoff odds, the impacts of gerrymandering, will Oregon flip?

Midtern Matters

173 billion: President Joe Biden threatened to hit oil companies with a windfall tax if they don’t invest their profits to help ease prices for consumers facing sky-high gas prices as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The collective profits of the seven largest private drillers is nearing $173 billion so far this year. Biden’s threat comes as US voters overwhelmingly cite bread-and-butter issues as the main factor impacting their vote.

50: New polls in Georgia suggest the Senate race between the GOP’s Herschel Walker and Democrat Raphael Warnock is likely headed to a run-off in December. The New York Times/ Siena College poll puts Warnock a few points ahead of his rival, but he still falls just below the 50% threshold needed to win outright. This nail-biter is one of a few races that will determine which party controls the Senate.

59: Just 59 out of 435 seats in the House of Representatives are truly competitive this year, according to the Cook Political Report, which attributes this trend to gerrymandering – undemocratic state redistricting. Republicans only need a net gain of five seats to take control of the lower chamber.

40: Will the liberal state of Oregon get its first Republican governor in 40 years? That’s looking increasingly plausible as GOP candidate Christine Drazan and her Democratic rival Tina Kotek are neck-and-neck in the polls less than a week ahead of the vote. Drazan’s view that Portland – a liberal bastion – has descended into lawlessness under progressive leadership resonates with independents and some Democrats worried about rising crime and homelessness.


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