Midterm Elections Recap

Map of House Seats.

The New York Times.

Map of House Seats.

Arya Kaul

On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, the high-stakes midterm elections concluded and on Wednesday, the Republicans officially won control of the US House of Representatives, and the Democrats maintained control of the US Senate. 


According to The New York Times, the Republican’s narrow victory came more than a week after a decisive red wave failed to materialize on Election Day. They gained seats across 13 states. The Democrats managed to hold off Republican challengers in many parts of the country and made their own gains in seven states. 


The president’s party has lost seats in almost every midterm election since the Civil War. This time was no different, with Republicans picking up at least six seats. But, Democrats avoided the steeper losses that are normal for the president’s party in midterm elections. The number of Democratic losses will most likely grow as the final outstanding races are called, but Democrats will still have lost fewer seats in 2022 than the president’s party has in most recent midterms (NPR). 


As stated in The New York Times, the rightward shift in 2022 in many places most likely represents a change in political feelings over the last two years. But individual personalities in House races can also matter, and in some cases may have cost Republicans seats. Currently, the house results stand at 213 Democrats, 220 Republicans, and 6 uncalled (Politico). 


In the Senate, the Democrats maintained control, with 50 Democratic seats, 49 Republican seats, and 1 uncalled, which is the Georgia seat that is currently undergoing a runoff election (New York Times). The big states that contributed to this Democratic win were Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. 


Retaining the Senate is a huge boost to President Joe Biden over the remaining two years of his first term. Democrats will have the ability to confirm Biden’s judicial nominees – avoiding scenarios such as the one former President Barack Obama faced in 2016 when then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold a vote on his Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland. It also means that Senate Democrats can reject bills passed by the House and can set their own agenda (CNN). 

Mr. VanderMolen’s AP Gov class did a poll regarding what they thought the outcome of the midterm elections would be, and he thought that the “Republicans would gain control of both the House and Senate”, which is in accordance with what many experts expected. Democrats defied political gravity to deliver a surprisingly strong midterm showing. CNN exit polls showed that 49% of voters who said they somewhat disapproved of Biden voted for Democrats while 45% backed Republicans; of the 38% of voters who said the condition of the economy is “not so good,” 62% voted Democratic compared to 35% for the GOP (CNN). 


Ramapo senior Katelyn Finnan, who has been working to get students who just turned 18 registered to vote, said that this election was “extremely exciting for seniors since it was many of their first times voting in a national election.” The next election in 2024 is a presidential election and will alter the future of the country.