The midterm elections will be held on November 8, 2022. The 435 House of Representatives seats and 33 of the 100 seats in the U.S Senate will be up for election. The winners of the 2022 House elections will serve two-year terms from January 3, 2023, to January 3, 2025. The winners of the 2022 Senate elections will serve six-year terms from January 3, 2023, to January 3, 2029.
In addition, 37 state and territorial governorships and numerous other local and state elections will also be contested. There is a lot at stake in the 2022 midterm elections. The Senate and the house control is up for grabs, as is the possession of numerous state and local governments. The outcome of the polls will profoundly impact the country’s direction for the next several years.
Here are some of the critical issues to watch for in the 2022 midterm elections:
The Fight for the House
The 2022 midterm elections will be a critical moment for the Democratic Party as they seek to take House of Representatives control. Democrats need to win a net total of 17 seats to take back the majority. They have several potential pickup opportunities in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 but flipped to Donald Trump in 2020.
One big question is whether or not Rep. Nancy Pelosi will remain as Speaker of the House if Democrats retake the majority. Pelosi has said she is “confident” she will stay on as Speaker, but some Democrats have called for new leadership in the House.
The Battle for the Senate
The 2022 midterm elections will also be crucial for the fight for control of the Senate. Democrats currently hold a slim majority in the Senate, with 50 seats to the Republicans’ 48 seats. Two independents, Senators Angus King and Bernie Sanders, caucus with the Democrats.
The Senate map looks favorable for Democrats in 2022, with Republicans defending several seats in blue and purple states. Democrats will be looking to pick up Senate seats in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Gubernatorial Races to Watch
There will be several critical gubernatorial races to watch in 2022.
Ohio is one state to keep an eye on. The current governor, Mike DeWine, is a Republican term-limited in 2022. The Ohio gubernatorial race is likely to be competitive, and it will be a crucial test of whether or not the state is truly a swing state.
Another critical gubernatorial race is in Florida, where Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is up for reelection. DeSantis is a close ally of Donald Trump, and the Florida gubernatorial race will test Trump’s continued political clout.
The Race for Control of State Legislatures
The 2022 midterm elections will also be crucial for the fight for control of state legislatures. Republicans currently have a majority in 29 state legislatures, compared to the Democrats’ 19 state legislatures.
One state to watch is North Carolina, where Democrats currently have a slight majority in the state legislature. If Republicans can retake control of the state legislature, they will have complete control of state government (the governor is also a Republican).
The Fight for Control of Local Governments
The 2022 midterm elections will also be necessary to fight for local governments’ control. In many states, gubernatorial and state legislative elections will significantly impact local governments’ makeup.
For example, in North Carolina, if Republicans can retake control of the state legislature, they will be able to redraw district lines for local governments. This could have an impact on the makeup of local governments in the state.
After the 2020 Census, there will be a new round of redistricting. This means that the boundaries of congressional districts will be redrawn to reflect population changes.
Redistricting could significantly impact the power balance in the House of Representatives. If the Republicans can redraw the boundaries of congressional districts in their favor, they could gain control of the House.
Ballot Initiatives to Watch
There will also be several essential ballot initiatives to watch in 2022.
One interesting ballot initiative to watch is in Arizona, where voters will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana. This ballot initiative could significantly impact the marijuana industry in the state.
Another important ballot initiative to watch is in California, where voters will decide whether or not to recall Governor Gavin Newsom. Newsom is currently facing a recall effort, and if he is recalled, it would be the first time a California governor has been recalled from office.
The Impact of 2022 On 2024
The 2022 midterm elections will also significantly impact the 2024 presidential election. If Democrats can retake control of the House and the Senate, it will make it much harder for Republicans to win the presidency in 2024.
Likewise, if Republicans can retain the House and the Senate control, it will be easier for them to win the presidency in 2024.
The Rise of the Young Voter
Since the 2016 election, there has been a noticeable rise in youth engagement in politics. This is partly thanks to the rise of social media and the increasing relevance of issues like climate change and student debt. Young people are also increasingly registering to vote and voting in elections.
According to a 2018 Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), youth voter turnout reached a 25-year high in the 2018 midterm elections. This trend is likely to continue in the lead-up to the 2022 midterms and could significantly impact the outcome of the polls.
The 2022 midterm elections will be crucial for the Democratic and Republican Parties. The elections’ results will significantly impact the fight for control of Congress and state legislatures, as well as the 2024 presidential election.
With all of these factors in mind, the 2022 midterms are shaping to be a hotly contested election. Democrats are expected to make gains, but they are unlikely to retake either the House or the Senate. The election outcome will heavily influence the economy, state, and the President’s approval ratings. Turnout will also be a critical factor.
These races will be critical in determining the future of the Biden administration. If Democrats can hold onto their majorities in both the House and the Senate, they will be able to continue to push their agenda forward. However, if Republicans can take control of either chamber, they will be able to block the President’s plan and potentially force him to compromise on critical issues. No matter who wins in 2022, it will surely be a close and contested election.