Anticipation is building for November’s congressional elections in the US. Republican party expects to retain its majority in the House of Representatives
 and hope to recapture the Senate, and thereby begin a major course correction.

Media point to a polarised government. Republicans emphasize growth and opportunity; Democrats emphasize redistribution as a prerequisite. But many voters are 'independents'. Some are disenchanted with both parties, sceptical of their diagnoses and remedies; some 'vote for the person, not the party' (ignoring implications of party control in Congress); some are no longer enamoured with bipartisanship – two wrongs do not make a right. In any event, many now believe that what has been going on for the past few years has not worked very well – no economic growth, more people unemployed, more people on welfare and more concentrated wealth.


Electioneering in the non-presidential years usually focuses on energising a party’s base. Even at the risk of alienating independents, it is more important to turn out party-loyal voters, especially since disenchanted independents may sit this one out.   

The president’s approval numbers are down, but he can still raise campaign money. He controls levers of a government that is a big customer for some, an intrusive regulator for all and able to help special interest supporters, especially organised labour, including in ways that do not attract headlines.

Many business leaders look forward to a wave change election, halting anti-business appointments, policies and regulations, and even addressing corporate tax cuts that would enable repatriating earnings, now stockpiled abroad. With success in November, Republicans want to begin to set the stage for a renaissance of new leadership, perhaps an eventual reprise of former president Ronald Reagan’s re-election theme – 'It’s morning again In America'.

An anticipatory season provides reasons to delay investment decisions, but it may induce others to get something done in case the rules begin to change.

Daniel Malachuk works with business and government leaders on global direct investment strategies. He has advised many of the world's leading companies and served in the US public sector as director of White House operations. E-mail: