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By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Centrist Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, a pivotal vote in the U.S. Senate, on Sunday advocated making the procedural maneuver called the filibuster more "painful" to do, with Democrats concerned about Republicans obstructing President Joe Biden's legislative agenda. Some Democrats have advocated eliminating the filibuster to prevent Republicans from blocking Biden's initiatives. White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield made clear on Sunday that the president is not calling for ending the filibuster. Biden previously served in the Senate for...

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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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