The 2022 midterm elections are here, and here are seven things to watch for this Tuesday’s midterm elections:
Who controls the House of Representatives?: Of all the major debates on Tuesday night, it’s one that some Democrats are debating because the party is unlikely to control the Legislature in January. Since Republicans only need a net gain of five seats to secure a majority, the GOP is more likely to win the House again. The party has come under attack in House races across the country, but particularly in districts Biden carried handily two years ago, including blue counties in Rhode Island, New York and Oregon.
Who controls the Senate?: If control of the House of Representatives seems like an inevitable loss for Democrats, control of the Senate, now evenly divided, offers a surprising bright spot for the party, helped by voters with unfavorable feelings toward Democrats who reject Republican candidates. Biden’s job performance. The most vulnerable Democratic incumbents are on the ballot in Nevada, New Hampshire, Arizona and Georgia, where polls show each race is close. The party is under attack in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, two states Biden won two years ago.
Electoral abstentions in major states: Parroting former President Donald Trump’s lies about widespread voter fraud, Republicans are trying to hijack the voting machinery in some swing states. The results in those states could have dramatic consequences in 2024, when Trump is on the brink of another presidential bid and candidates in key swing states are seeking positions where they can try to undermine voters’ will.
Latino voters will continue their swing to the right: Republicans will look to build on Trump’s success among Latino voters two years ago. Three congressional elections in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, with a strong Hispanic presence, will tell part of the story. Latino voters are important segments of the electorate in Arizona, Nevada, and Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Impact of Presidential Politics: “If we lose the House and the Senate, it’s going to be a terrible couple of years,” Biden said during a fundraiser Friday. Former President Barack Obama, who has campaigned for candidates in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona and Pennsylvania in recent weeks, made the point during his final rally in Philadelphia on Saturday.
Those who make the wave (or break it): While a few big races are too close to being declared, the shape of Congress over the next two years will be clear in the first hours after polls close on the East Coast. For Democrats, a loss in even two of the three contests would mean a very bad night. Nationally and in some states the party has increasingly invested its electoral power in notoriously unstable suburbs. If the Republican wave does come, the Atlantic coast will be the first to see high tides.
wait: As most Americans learned two years ago, Election Day can be a misnomer. Voting ends this Tuesday. But in many states, that’s when the count begins. That means many hotly contested elections could take until the early hours of the morning or even later this week to be decided. This accounts for the nature of recounts and sometimes recounts, but state laws that instruct poll workers how to do their jobs and, in some states, require them not to do so later.