2022 midterm elections: 11 takeaways (2023)

The benefit of attendance, which was high this year, is that it shows citizen commitment; The downside is that it often indicates dissatisfaction within the body politic, as voters are more motivated by what they don't like than by what they do.

Election Day is over, but the election isn't over: nothing is certain until all counts, recounts, and certifications are complete. Three dozen state legislative races have yet to be formally called and party control in three chambers is pending. Even when all the runs are completed, the change will continue. Between the day of the elections and the beginning of the sessions, it is common for more than a handful of deputies to resign to occupy another position.

But it's not too early to say that: It's been a good, if not great, year for Democrats in every state, winning at least three chambers and two gubernatorial seats. With Punditville expecting 2022 to be a good year for the Republicans, even a red wave, the results made the Blue Team really happy.

1 – The President's party lost seats

The strongest trend in American politics continues: the president's party is losing seats in the midterm elections. Only twice since 1900 has this not happened: in 1934, when President Roosevelt took action, and in 2002, when President George W. Bush helped lead the Republican Party after 9/11.

This year, Republicans are on pace to win 34 legislative seats across the country, give or take a handful. That's not much, considering the average win for the opposition in midterm elections is more than 400. But win is win is win.

After the 2020 election, Republicans held 3,999 (54.1%) of the country's 7,383 seats. Democrats held 3,302 (44.7%) seats.

The recount after the 2021-22 election gives Republicans 4,033 (54.6%) of the total 7,386 and Democrats 3,278 (44.4%). (The total increased by three, to 7,386, as Wyoming added three seats, one in the Senate and two in the House of Representatives, during the reorganization.) There weren't many changes, but it was a change in favor of the Republicans. .

The numbers are settled when the counts are complete; For example, a dozen New Hampshire House races have reached the threshold for automatic recounts, and some Pennsylvania House races will be decided by special elections early next year, leaving the Final control of that camera.

(Video) Midterm 2022 Elections: Takeaways from Midterm Elections

2 – Democrats won cameras

While the Republican Party won seats, the Democrats won houses this year. At this point, four houses have changed, all from red to blue: the Michigan House and Senate, the Minnesota House, and the Pennsylvania House. (As noted above, some of the seats needed to take control will be vacant in early January; final control will not be decided until a special election in February.)

It may seem counterintuitive that the Republican Party won seats and the Democrats won the Houses, but that's exactly what happened. In fact, this is the first midterm election since 1900, when the opposition party failed to take over at least one chamber. Instead, both parties have consolidated their majorities and the distribution of seats is important.

In West Virginia, for example, the Senate is now at Rs 88 and Ds 12. (While this result is impressive, it's not the only one. In the Hawaii Senate, Democrats hold a 23-2 lead.)

Before the election, Republicans held 62 houses, including the Virginia House, which turned red in 2021, and the unicameral Nebraska legislature, which is officially bipartisan but effectively under Republican control. Democrats had 37.

After the election, Republicans have 58 cameras to Democrats' 40. So the Democrats are happy and the Republicans proud to maintain their lead.

It looks like the Republicans will have a numerical advantage in both Alaska houses, but they may not have political control. The state is ripe territory for government coalitions, and such a coalition has been formed in the state Senate. Negotiations on a possible coalition in the Chamber of Deputies continue.

A change of four houses in one election (or five houses in a biennial cycle, including the Virginia House) is minimal. In the last 120 years, an average of 12 chambers have been invested in each biennial cycle. Compared to the last election cycles, this year it is at the same level. Four chambers were revoked in 2019 and 2020. Nine chambers were revoked in 2017-18 and 2015-16.

In Washington DC and the US territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands, and in all 50 states, general elections were held. Not surprisingly, the power in D.C. stick with the democrats. In Guam, the Democrats won nine of the 15 seats; in the Virgin Islands, Democrats now number 11, and Independents hold four seats; and in American Samoa, all legislators are bipartisan.

(Video) Biggest takeaways from 2022 election midterm results l GMA

3 – Legislatures divided at historical lows

The number of separate legislative terms in which the two chambers are held by different parties remains at an all-time low. Virginia and Pennsylvania have the only divided legislatures in the country through 2023. That's just above the low of 2020, when Minnesota had the only divided legislature. Before that, there was only one split in 1914. Between 2000 and 2018, splits averaged 7.7.

The upcoming special election for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives may go the Republican way, leaving the legislature in the hands of the Republican Party. When coalitions are contemplated, the Alaska legislature will either be divided or wholly controlled by the coalition, depending on what happens in the House.

Whether there are one, two, or even three split legislatures at the end (including a possible Alaska coalition), this will continue the recent trend toward greater legislative unity.

4 – Democrats close the government gap

Changes in the country's governmental alignment favored the Democrats. Before the elections held by the Republicans28 governorships22 for Democrats After the election, the Republican lead narrowed to 26-24. The last time Democrats held at least half of the government was in 2009, when the number was 28 Democrats and 22 Republicans.

Of the 36 gubernatorial elections this month, 28 have had an incumbent candidate. Of those, only one lost when Republican Joe Lombardo ousted incumbent Democrat Steve Sisolak in Nevada. Possession is hard to beat.

Of the eight vacant governors, Democrats filled three seats vacated by Republicans in Arizona, Maryland and Massachusetts. With the Nevada result, it's a net of two for the Democrats. But wait, there's more! Including the 2021 Virginia election, in which Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Republicans have had two administrations and Democrats three in the two-year cycle.

Remember the above, a win is a win is a win? That is true here too.

5 - More triplets

Governors are important in large part because they can advance or block political agendas in legislatures. In this sense, they become the third center of political power after the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. After this election, more states are under single-party control than before, continuing a trend that began in the 2010s.

(Video) 2022 Midterm Elections: Three big takeaways from a political strategist

Before this election, Republicans had full control in 23 states, Democrats had full control in 14 states, and 13 states shared control. After the election, the Republicans control 22 states and the Democrats have jumped to 17, a huge victory. The number of divided states was reduced to 10.

In the last decade, the number of states with single-party control has increased and, consequently, the number of states with joint control has decreased. In the 2000s, there were an average of 20 states with shared state control; After the 2010-18 elections, there were about 17 states of shared control. With only 10 states under shared control, we are at the lowest level since 1952.

6 — More veto-proof majorities

With the increase in uniform state control, the number of veto-proof majorities has also increased. Both represent the same phenomenon: United States under one party or the other, a trend that has been going on for some time.

After Election Day, 26 of the country's 50 legislatures are on track to have veto-proof majorities next year, giving the states' first branch of government more control over policymaking than ever before. Before the election, 21 states had such majorities: 15 for Republicans and six for Democrats. There are likely to be five more after the election: Vermont, Delaware and Illinois for Democrats and Florida and Ohio for Republicans. NCSL continuedVeto-proof majority analysis.

7- Voters were friendly with the leaders

This election was good for incumbent leaders, both for governors (with the exception of Sisolak in Nevada) and for legislative leaders. None of the top leaders (representatives from the Chamber of Deputies and top leaders from the Senate) were defeated by their opponents at the polls. However, that doesn't mean there won't be changes in legislative leadership. Before Election Day, at least 32 of the country's top leadership positions will surely have been filled by someone else by 2023 due to retirements, term limits and decisions to run for another office. Check out the NCSL Expected Listlegislative leadersfor the 2023 session and its analysis ofleadership elections.

8 - Women continue to profit

The proportion of women serving in state legislatures is increasing. Before the elections, women represented just over 30% of the country's 7,383 deputies; After the election they represent 31.9% of the total, rising to 7,386 after redistribution.

Women in the Nevada House and Senate will hold 38 seats, 60% of the total 63 seats. The Colorado House is also made up of 60% women (39 of the 65 representatives). Women will hold 50% of the seats in the New Mexico House and the Oregon House is expected to have the same percentage. While the number of women legislators has held steady in most states, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, and Nebraska have all seen increases in female representation. Women in Florida, Kentucky and Ohio are mostly on the Republican side of the aisle.

9 — Turnout was strong

Voter turnout often drops significantly in midterm elections compared to presidential years. It is true that participation this year is 46.9% of the voting population, according to theusa election design– was below the record 66.6% participation in 2020. It was even slightly below the record 49.4% participation in 2018. Still, it was a notable increase from mid-2014, when 36.7 % of the voting population participated in the election, and those of 2010 (37.8%) and 2006 (37.2%).

(Video) Key Takeaways From 2022 Midterm Elections

In general, this means that there have been three consecutive general elections with high or historic turnout. The benefit of high participation is that it shows citizen participation; The downside is that it's often an indicator of an unhappy body, as voters are more motivated by what they don't like than what they do like.

10 - Congress continues to attract state legislatures

Legislative bodies are often a testing ground for politicians on their way to the top, whether in state office or in Congress. This has been the case for decades and is also true this year.

Congress 118, which begins in January, will have 45 former state deputies in the Senate and 219 in the Chamber of Deputies. There were two Senate candidates, Vermont Democrat Peter Welch left the House, and 31 House candidates.

The results are based on the 117th Congress, where 45 senators (22 Republicans, 23 Democrats) and 212 members (108 Republicans, 102 Democrats, one independent and one New Progressive Party member) were former state legislators.

11 - Each election comes with record campaign spending

With each election cycle, spending in the state legislature increases. More than $1.1 billion was spent on legislative races during the 2022 cycleSeguirElDinero.org. Senate seats spend more than House seats, but the amounts vary by state. California Senate candidates spent an average of $1.9 million, while Iowa Senate candidates spent $340,000. In New Hampshire, where there are 400 House seats and salaries are $100 a year, candidates spent an average of $207; In Texas, where there are 150 seats, it costs almost $640,000 to run for a seat in the House of Representatives.

Another way to think about these staggering numbers is to count the "votes" for importance in policymaking at the state level. With Congress deadlocked for two years, the states are where the action is happening, and donors apparently know it.

Wendy Underhill directs the NCSL election and re-election program; Ben Williams is a political director on the show.

additional resources

  • 2022 NCSL National Election
  • Election Day 2022: Results from Legislative Leaders
  • State Legislative News


1. Elections recap: Latest race results, key takeaways
2. Here are some of the major takeaways from Election Night
(Fox News)
3. Democracy prevails in 2022 midterm elections
(Face the Nation)
4. Midterms 2022: Tuesday Primary Election Takeaways, Results
(Scripps News)
5. 2022 midterm election recap: Who won the Senate? #WakeUpCLT To Go
6. Georgia Midterms | Big takeaways, early voting turnout


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