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Republican and vaccine skeptic Todd Engle in front of his home in Martinsburg, West Virginia, on March 18, 2021; he is one of many Republicans around the country who voice concerns about the vaccine

Photo by AFP

Martinsburg (United States) (AFP) - Patients stream steadily into the Covid vaccine center that Todd Engle can almost touch from his West Virginia backyard. But like scores of other Republican voters, force would likely be required to get a dose into his arm. Many of the party's millions of supporters are among the nation's most vaccine-skeptical people, which experts see as a dangerous barrier to finally taming the virus that has killed more than 540,000 in the United States. "If they try to make me get it, they're just going to (have to) put me in jail," the 58-year-old Engle told AFP from t...

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, left, and former President Donald Trump.

Photo by Kevin McCarthy (Public domain)

In the professional stratum of politics, few verities are treated with more reverence than the outcome of next year's midterm, when the Republican Party is deemed certain to recapture majorities in the House and Senate. With weary wisdom, any pol or pundit will cite the long string of elections that buttress this prediction.

Political history also tells us that many factors can influence an electoral result, including a national crisis or a change in economic conditions — in other words, things can change and even midterm elections are not entirely foretold. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, too.

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