The 2022 US Midterm Elections: Expectations vs. Turnout

By Erin Moore

On Tuesday, November 8th, 2022, the US Midterm Elections took place. How did it go and how did those results compare to what was expected to occur? This article is here to explain just that.

Before I begin, I will note that all the information in this article was gathered from multiple sources from each side (the exact numbers used agreed upon by both Fox News and the New York Times), thus is verified information and holds no bias.

This year, the elections held were mainly for senators, representatives, and governors. Around 86% of the combined number of seats were up for election this year.

Prior to the election, the Senate had a 50-50 split between democrats and republicans. However, the Vice President breaks any voting ties within the Senate, and the current Vice President is democrat Kamala Harris. This number gave democrats a very narrow majority since the last elections were held for (some) Senate seats during the 2020 election.

The House of Representatives also had a narrow democratic majority, with 222 democratic-held seats and 213 republicans, meaning around 51% of the House of Representatives was democrats following the 2020 election.

Additionally, the president elected in the 2020 elections was a democrat (Joe Biden). This means that from 2020 following the election to 2022 prior to the election, the Senate had a slim democratic majority, the House of Representatives also had a slim democratic majority, and there was a democrat in office. 

However, the 2022 midterms looked bad for democrats for two main reasons: party in power and redistricting.

The first is significantly more simple: whichever party holds office typically loses a large amount of their seats. Since the current president of the United States is a democrat, they were projected to lose several seats in these midterms simply because of the party Joe Biden is a part of. 

The second, redistricting, is more complex. Redistricting typically takes place after a census, and it is exactly what it sounds like: the border lines for districts are changed, which typically benefits one of the two major parties. 

The most recent redistricting affected both parties. New Mexico, Illinois, Nevada, and Oregon’s districts were drawn in a way that benefited democrats. However, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, and Florida’s districts were beneficiary for republicans. 

When asked who redistricting would affect more in an interview with NPR, Michael Li, redistricting expert, said, “Republicans have an advantage that I think will play out.”

However, democrats greatly overperformed expectations in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. 

In the Senate, democrats won the majority with 50-49 seats. Georgia will hold a runoff election later, which will determine whether the seats are 50-50 with the vice president as the tiebreaker or 51-49. Either way, the democrats will hold their Senate majority for at least the next two years. 

However, in the House, the republicans have taken control with 218 seats called by various sources and 210 for democrats, with 218 seats needed for control. 

Of the thirty-six governor elections and thirty-four called races, each party has seventeen governors. In Minnesota, our governor will remain Tim Walz, another democrat. 

All in all, the election did not go as expected, and is going fairly well for both parties, with democrats coming out a bit better currently. However, there are still races left to be called. 

Want to learn more? Visit the following websites: 

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