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    Republicans are favored to win the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections, but Democrats can stop them

    The 2022 Senate battleground states, explained.

    Why Republicans are favored to win the Senate — and how Democrats could stop them

    The 2022 Senate battleground states, explained.

    By Andrew [email protected] Apr 26, 2022, 6:00am EDT

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    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Drew Angerer/Getty Images

    Democrats’ control of the 50-50 Senate could well be washed away by a red wave in this fall’s midterm elections.

    Republicans appear favored to win back the Senate for two simple reasons. First, the national environment has moved in their favor. Biden’s approval rating is low. The GOP has improved in generic ballot polls and won the governor’s seat in Virginia last November.

    Second, the Senate is already split 50-50, so a net gain of even just one seat for Republicans would flip the chamber into their hands.

    However, Democrats do still have a way to hold on. The main thing they have going for them is a decent map — they aren’t defending any seats in states Trump won in 2020, while Republicans are defending two states Biden narrowly won. If Democrats manage to hold their losses to a minimum, or make up for them by defeating Republicans elsewhere, they could keep Senate control. But if the national environment keeps looking so dire for the party and the president, that would be a tall order.

    Most analysts expect Democrats to lose the House. Losing the Senate would be an even more painful blow. Senate control would give Republicans veto power over Biden’s appointees — new Cabinet secretaries and subcabinet officials, as well as judges, including even a future Supreme Court justice should a vacancy unexpectedly arise. A GOP takeover would dramatically constrain the next two years of Biden’s presidency, and set progressives up for even more disappointment in this administration than they’ve already faced.

    Six key states

    In the past decade, there have been 20 individual Senate elections where a seat ended up flipping to the other party. The vast majority of those races (16 of 20) had the same partisan outcome as either the presidential race that year or, in midterm years without a presidential contest, the most recent one. Senate races have been falling in line with the state’s presidential party preference. “Mismatched” senators, who represent a state their party’s presidential nominee lost, are becoming rarer.

    From that perspective, Democrats have a pretty okay map in 2022. In the two most recent midterm cycles, they were badly exposed, with several incumbents in states the Republican presidential candidate just won. This year, they have none at all. (They do have three such seats coming up in 2024, which will be a major challenge, but that’s a problem for another time.) Meanwhile, there are two GOP-held seats in states Biden narrowly won, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, on the ballot.

    But that’s likely too optimistic for Democrats. Another way to think about the map is that there are six true swing states with races this cycle. At least once in either 2016 or 2020, Trump either won or came quite close to winning Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona, and New Hampshire. Nevada, meanwhile, trended right relative to the country between 2016 and 2020, though Biden still won it.

    These six states — four held by Democrats, and two held by Republicans — are currently the core of the 2022 competitive Senate map, though other contests could also come into play. It’s reasonable to expect that with Biden’s national standing declining, Senate seats in these states are in great danger of slipping out of Democrats’ grasp.

    But while Senate race outcomes have become more correlated with national partisanship, individual candidates do frequently overperform or underperform the overall trend. Democrats’ Senate chances likely hinge on whether enough of their candidates can escape this partisan gravity, arguing either that they’re not just another Democrat, or that their opponent is a uniquely unfit Republican.

    Republicans’ top Democratic-held Senate targets

    Youyou Zhou/Vox

    Georgia: Sen. Raphael Warnock (D) won his seat in a high-stakes January 2021 runoff, but that was a special election; he has to run again for a full term this fall. His likely opponent is Herschel Walker (R), a former University of Georgia football star, making this a rare US Senate race likely to feature two Black major party nominees.

    Republicans are hoping Democrats’ narrow Georgia triumphs last cycle were a fluke, and that the long-red state is moving back toward the GOP. But some are a bit worried about Walker, who’s a political novice with a good deal of baggage in his personal history (for instance, his ex-wife alleged that he put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her). Meanwhile, Democrats hope the presence of Warnock and likely gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams on the ballot will motivate Black voters to turn out for them.

    Source : www.vox.com

    History suggests that control of Congress will change after November’s midterm elections.

    from The Water's Edge and Renewing America

    The 2022 Midterm Congressional Elections by the Numbers

    History suggests that control of Congress will change after November’s midterm elections.

    The U.S. Capitol Building on July 31, 2021. Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters

    Blog Post by James M. Lindsay

    March 8, 2022 2:14 pm (EST)

    Eight months from today the United States will hold its congressional midterm elections. All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives will be up for grabs. Thirty-five Senate seats will be as well: the standard thirty-four seats in this cycle plus a special election to fill the four years remaining in the term of Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). He announced last month that he will retire next January 3 to care for his ailing wife. In a twist, Californians will vote twice for the same Senate seat. One vote will be to fill the final two months left in what had been Vice President Kamala Harris’s term. The second will elect someone to fill that seat for a full term.

    The betting money is that the Republican Party will be the winner on Election Night, taking back control of one, if not both, houses of Congress. But eight months can be a lifetime in politics. So it’s worth reviewing what we know about midterm elections generally, the 2022 midterm elections specifically, and the evolving debate over voting access and ballot security.

    Things to Know About Midterm Elections

    American politics has perhaps one ironclad rule: The sitting president’s party almost always loses House seats in the midterms. Going back to Harry Truman’s presidency, the president's party has lost, on average, twenty-nine House seats in each president’s first midterm election. Focusing on a president’s first midterm election here makes sense because 2022 will be President Joe Biden’s first—and perhaps, only—midterm election.

    The Water's Edge

    James M. Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power. 2-4 times weekly.

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    Of course, averages can hide a lot. Looking at elections since the end of World War II, has the president’s party ever gained seats during his first midterm? Yes. Exactly once. That’s out of thirteen tries. It happened in 2002, when George W. Bush was president. The Republicans picked up eight House seats.

    That unusual outcome twenty years ago highlights the fact that House midterm elections function as a referendum on the president. In the fall of 2002, Bush was benefiting from the lasting rally-round-the-flag effect generated by the September 11 attacks. His public approval rating stood in the low sixties.

    That’s a number that most presidents can only dream of heading into their first midterm. Since Truman’s time, seven of thirteen presidents entered their first midterm with their public approval rating below 50 percent. Those presidents saw their party lose, on average, forty-three House seats. President Barack Obama, whose approval rating stood at 45 percent in 2010, took the biggest midterm shellacking. Democrats lost sixty-three House seats.

    So much for House elections. What about the Senate? Here the numbers are less lopsided. The president’s party sometimes gains Senate seats in a president’s first midterm election. The president’s party has picked up seats in five such elections. The most recent instance came in 2018. Republicans gained two seats during President Donald Trump’s second year in office.

    More on: United States

    Politics and Government

    Elections and Voting

    Joe Biden

    Why the difference in the outcomes of midterm voting for the House and Senate? Many factors are at play. One of the most significant is that only a third of Senate seats is up for grabs in any election. By the luck of the draw, that mix of seats may favor the president’s party.

    Why Republicans Are Optimistic

    Republicans are feeling good heading into the 2022 midterms. It is easy to see why:

    Biden’s current average job approval rating is 42 percent. To put that in perspective, only Truman in 1946 (33 percent) and Trump in 2018 (41 percent) had a lower approval rating at the time of the midterm election.

    Democrats hold 222 seats in the House, or four more seats than are needed to hold the majority. So Republican candidates could grossly underperform historical averages and still retake the House.

    So far thirty-one incumbent House Democrats—or roughly one out of seven—have announced they will not run for reelection. It is generally easier to win an open seat than to defeat an incumbent.

    Inflation is at a forty-year high. Nearly six in ten Americans say that inflation is causing hardship for them or someone in their household. (Republicans have already dubbed it “Bidenflation.”)

    More than 1,500 Americans a day continue to die of COVID-19.

    Americans moved toward the Republican Party in 2021. Gallup found at the start of the year that Democrats led Republicans in party identification by nine percentage points. By the end of the year, Republicans led by five points. That fourteen-point swing is among the largest Gallup has ever recorded.

    Why Democrats Still Have Hope

    Democratic lawmakers and strategists have been warning for months that the November elections could be a debacle for the party. But Democrats might fare better than expected for several reasons:

    Source : www.cfr.org

    Democrats and the 2022 Midterms: ‘It’s Going to Be a Terrible Cycle’

    Strategists and pollsters are increasingly talking about limiting the party’s expected losses in November rather than how to gain new seats.

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