While the matter represents a contentious topic, investors must realize that the 2022 midterm elections will soon arrive. Further, with President Joe Biden’s administration generally struggling to forward its agenda, the upcoming battle for control of Congress will be crucial. Should the Republicans win, they can potentially gridlock the president, which would then set the framework for 2024.
Now, if history is any guide, the Republicans stand a solid chance of taking both the House and the Senate. Without jumping on one side or the other, it’s probably fair to at least be prepared for a red wave during the 2022 midterm elections.
According to data from U.C. Santa Barbara, in the “22 midterm elections from 1934-2018, the President’s party has averaged a loss of 28 House seats and four Senate seats. The president’s party gained seats in the House only three times, but gained seats in the Senate on six occasions. The president’s party has gained seats in both houses only twice.”
To be clear, we live in extraordinary times, so it’s possible that the Democrats will pull a surprise for the 2022 midterm elections. Either way, below are critical stock charts to watch ahead of the votes.
Sturm Ruger (RGR)
Irrespective of personal opinions about the munitions industry, the overriding reality is that because of the Second Amendment, qualified law-abiding U.S. citizens and permanent residents may purchase firearms. Per the Washington Post, there are more guns than people in this country. And that makes firearms manufacturer Sturm Ruger (NYSE:RGR) one of the must-watch charts ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Given that the topic of self-defense and the right for individuals to bear arms represents much controversy, RGR inherently makes the ranks as a real-time economic and social indicator to monitor ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Still, it may be a contrarian indicator as well.
If political circumstances bode well for Republicans, then arguably the primary incentive to acquire guns — the fear of restrictive gun control measures — will abate. Therefore, lower market valuations for RGR could imply a Republican surge. The opposite may hold true for a surprising run by Democrats.
So far, RGR is down about 33% in the trailing year.
Lockheed Martin (LMT)
Famed defense contractor Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) represents one of the top charts to watch ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Still, LMT embodies ambiguities. Therefore, it may feature conflicting insights.
Traditionally, Republicans present a pro-military and pro-defense profile. Thus, a rising LMT price may indicate growing support for Republicans in most other circumstances.
These are not most other circumstances. Fundamentally, the Democrats led the charge against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Even when going back into the archives, it appears Democrats have a stronger sense of global politics. For instance, then-Senator John F. Kennedy arguably presented a more cogent framework about geopolitics than former Vice President Richard Nixon.
Given that the Biden administration continues to support Ukrainian resistance and independence, a rising LMT could be a positive indicator for the Democrats. Over the trailing year, shares are up almost 13%.
NextEra Energy (NEE)
In my opinion, NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) unquestionably represents a must-watch chart ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Developing wind and solar energy infrastructures, NextEra provides the tangible platform for the climate change ideology. Scientists recognize that we humans must do something about the problem, and NEE is one cog in the solutions machinery.
Should NEE shares rise, the perhaps obvious conclusion is that the narrative bolsters Democrats. To be fair, many conservative politicians also support environmentally sustainable policies. However, the left tends to attract the most attention for making climate change a top priority in its political agenda. Thus, a bullish NEE price chart could mean a positive outcome for Democrats.
On the other hand, a declining NEE price chart could be an indicator that Republicans may enjoy a big day for the 2022 midterm elections. According to the Pew Research Center, while environmental concerns have risen between the two major political parties, the prioritization gap remains massive. In the trailing year, NEE has gained about 5%.
Meta Platforms (META)
Owning the biggest social media network in Facebook, Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META) is one of the charts to watch anyways. But ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, not many more pertinent stocks exist.
Fundamentally, members across the political and ideological spectrum voiced concerns about Meta’s hegemony. As the Pew Research Center noted, a majority of U.S. adults believe that “their personal data is less secure now.” In addition, they feel that “data collection poses more risks than benefits.” In some ways, it’s not surprising that META collapsed this year.
On the flipside, an argument rose to the forefront about Big Tech and social responsibility. For instance, deliberately disseminating misleading narratives may cause social harm. Ironically, the Columbia Journalism Review pointed out that in 1987, under President Ronald Reagan’s Federal Communications Commission, “the fairness doctrine was dropped, removing required balance from broadcast reporting.”
It’s a difficult matter to decipher. However, in my view, a rising META price bodes well for Democrats. However, META is down 62% in the trailing year.
Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL)
Frankly, you can’t get more Big Tech than Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL). Fundamentally, under the corporate umbrella’s Google machinery, Alphabet effectively owns the internet. Based on the latest data, Google maintains a 92% global market share for the search engine segment. Nothing else comes close.
However, as with Meta above, privacy concerns became a major priority in recent years. According to another Pew report, half of Americans “have decided not to use a product or service because of privacy concerns.” Therefore, GOOG and GOOGL represent major challenges for both parties. Partially because of this, they also represent charts to watch ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Fundamentally, many young people care about social justice. It is possible then that they may support censorship initiatives that mitigate potentially dangerous ideas. After all, for a tolerant society to succeed, it must not tolerate intolerance. Politically, I view rising GOOG and GOOGL prices as a positive for Democrats. Still, the fact on the ground for the trailing year is that GOOG is down 29%.
Just mention the name Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) and certain images immediately come to mind. Because the company represents a niche segment, it’s a clear indicator for conservative ideologies.
According to one data set, Harley-Davidson tends to attract predominantly males, aged 55 and above. Significantly, the company attempted to reach other demographics. Obviously, with the aforementioned rich diversity of the U.S., you can’t just feature a narrow focus. However, the company also struggled with expanding beyond its core consumer base.
However, these struggles also make HOG a useful indicator for charts to watch ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. Yes, Democrats ride motorcycles too. Still, as an average view, Harley leans toward conservative sentiments. Thus, a rising HOG price bodes well for Republicans. Currently, HOG runs 3.5% below parity in the trailing year.
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.