Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week:
1. Iranian “Parliament” Urges Judiciary To Sentence Protesters To Death
A group of 227 members of the Iranian parliament (Majles) has called on the Judiciary to issue death sentences for people arrested during the ongoing anti-government protests. A few token Iranian “reformists” and members of the ultra-conservative branch of the Iranian Principlist political alliance make up the majority of the parliament, which was chosen in a non-competitive, sham vote in February of 2020. The demonstrators were referred to as “mohareb” in a declaration that was read aloud in the parliament on November 6. This Arabic word literally translates to “warrior,” but in Islamic law, or sharia, it signifies “enemy of God,” which is punishable by death. Additionally, they compared the demonstrators to ISIS fighters who “destroy people’s lives and property.” For taking part in the demonstrations, thousands of individuals have already been accused by the Iranian government of “moharebeh,” “corruption on earth,” “assembly and cooperation against national security,” and “confrontation with the Islamic Republic.”
2. President Joe Biden, Former President Donald Trump Rally On Safe Turf On Election Eve
President Joe Biden is staying away from the toughest races on Election Day eve, opting to campaign in safe Democratic territory before what’s expected to be a difficult night for his party. Mired in low approval ratings, President Biden will spend election eve in Columbia, Maryland, stumping for the state’s likely first Black governor, Wes Moore. Throughout the weekend, Biden hit the road for candidates in California, Illinois, and New York, a trio of deep-blue states where some races, particularly the New York governor’s race, narrowed significantly in recent weeks. Biden’s not the only one playing on what should be friendly turf as voting nears. First lady Jill Biden is in Northern Virginia, campaigning with Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) in a congressional district the President won by nearly 20 points in 2020. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump is scheduled to rally alongside Republican J.D. Vance on election eve in Dayton, Ohio, a deep-red state where Democrat Tim Ryan has forced a tighter contest for the open Senate seat.
3. Voters Give President Joe Biden, Democrats, Historically Low Approvals Ahead of Midterm Election
Voters’ approval of President Joe Biden remains deep in negative territory and 70 percent of voters say the country is on the wrong track, both results that bode ill for Democrats as Election Day approaches. Fifty-five percent of registered voters said they disapprove of the job Biden is doing as president, and just 42 percent said they approve in the last POLITICO-Morning Consult poll conducted in advance of the midterm election.
Voters often treat midterm elections as a referendum on the president and his party, which suggests that support for Democrats is on the wane, and many polling averages indicate that voters are more inclined to vote for Republicans as a result. The POLITICO-Morning Consult poll is an outlier on this question, showing support for Democratic congressional candidates at 48 percent, five points above support for Republican candidates. The poll continued to show economic issues at top of mind for voters, with 78 percent saying both the economy and inflation will play a “major role” in how they cast their ballots. By contrast, 61 percent of voters said crime would play a major role in their voting decisions this year and 57 percent said the same about abortion access.
4. US Job Growth Declines, Inflation Surges In October
The strong US labor market is showing signs of cooling, with the Labor Department reporting on November 4 a slower pace of hiring and higher unemployment. While the closely watched October jobs report was strong by historical standards, it suggests a series of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve meant to cool the economy has, as yet, had only a limited impact on employers’ desire to hire more workers. The report shows employers added 261,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate rose to 3.7% from 3.5% in September, a lower monthly jobs gain than the revised September number of 315,000, though it is above the 200,000 forecast from economists surveyed by Refinitiv.
October marks the smallest monthly jobs gain for the US economy since December 2020. But it is also a solid gain by historical standards. The economy added an average of 183,000 jobs a month over the course of the decade before the pandemic. “Today’s stronger than expected report illustrates the difficult task that still lies ahead for the Fed wrestling a resilient labor market and sticky inflation,” said Mike Loewengart, head of model portfolio construction for Morgan Stanley Global Investment Office. “While the number may be disappointing for investors hoping for a dovish Fed sooner rather than later, keep in mind it was the lowest reading in nearly two years.”