Five Facts About the 2022 Midterms
Nov 15, 2022
With Election Day 2022 now in the rearview mirror, here are Five Facts you should know about one of the most talked about midterms in recent memory.
- Red Wave Fails to Materialize: Between low approval ratings for President Biden, widespread economic concerns,, and the traditional midterm slump for the incumbent party, the stage seemed set for a major Republican victory this year.
But while Republicans do look on track to take a majority in the House, the margin of victory will be nowhere near the red waves of 1994 and 2010, where dozens of seats flipped from blue to red. Meanwhile, control of the Senate is still up in the air, and Democrats took some of the most competitive gubernatorial races in the country.
- Far-Right Challengers Fall Flat: In multiple competitive Congressional races, a moderate incumbent Republican either retired or was defeated in the GOP primary by a more far-right candidate, many of whom peddled in conspiracy theories and railed against the integrity of our elections. By and large, these candidates ended up being soundly defeated by their opponents in the general election.
- Bipartisan Problem Solvers Performed Well: Of the 20 most bipartisan members of the House who stood for reelection, 13 have already been declared the winner, while 3 others currently hold a lead as votes are tallied.
- Gen Z Shows Up: Younger Americans, who often get criticized for failing to show up on Election Day, can point to the 2022 midterms as evidence that their critics are wrong. Tufts University estimates that 27% of the estimated 52 million Americans aged 18-29 voted this election – the second-highest rate for a midterm behind only the 2018 elections. That works out to roughly 14 million young Americans turning up at the ballot box.
- Early Voting is Here to Stay: During the 2020 presidential elections, record numbers of Americans cast their votes ahead of Election Day in part due to the COVID-19 social distancing measures in place that encouraged states to make it easier than ever to vote early.
Early voting data for 2022 suggests that it will remain the go-to for millions of Americans even as the pandemic wanes – more than 45 million Americans voted early in 2022, 6 million more than in the 2018 midterms.