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What the democracy watchers worry about – Axios

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Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios
People who study democracies around the world will be watching the 2022 midterm elections for new signs of how vulnerable the U.S. system has become.
Why it matters: Even if the true test doesn't come until the 2024 presidential election, the year ahead could set the stage and weaken American democracy in a more lasting way.
People who study democracies around the world will be watching the 2022 midterm elections for new signs of how vulnerable the U.S. system has become.
Why it matters: Even if the true test doesn't come until the 2024 presidential election, the year ahead could set the stage and weaken American democracy in a more lasting way.
Experts are watching:
The big picture: In other countries where democracies have eroded, it hasn’t necessarily happened all at once, said Sarah Repucci, who heads research and analysis at Freedom House, a nonprofit that researches democracies around the world.
Details: In the U.S., among primary challenges drawing the most attention has been the race targeting Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state who stood up to pressure from Trump.
Attacks on the election system “could become a self-fulfilling prophecy” if they drive experienced people out of the field, said Brendan Nyhan, co-founder of Bright Line Watch, a group that monitors the status of American democracy.
Between the lines: Signs of deeper erosion of American democracy predated the 2020 elections.
The other side: The incentives in next year's contests to challenge the legitimacy of the elections may be weaker than in 2020 for two reasons, Nyhan said: Republicans are favored to make gains. And Trump won’t be at the top of the ticket.
The bottom line: The 2024 election is likely to be a bigger test.

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