April 05, 2022

2022 Midterm Election Overview

There is an abundance of information on the internet and in the press about the upcoming November 8 midterm elections, which fall two years before the 2024 presidential election. It behooves us Democrats living abroad to stay on top of the primaries and get out the vote for the elections.  

The following is a summary of some of the crucial gubernatorial, US Senate and US House of Representative races. The nearest internet source for information on election candidates and dates can be found at votefromabroad.org. Click on the State Guide and then choose your state to find the information of most interest to you. Not incidentally, you can also register to vote and request your ballots at the votefromabroad.org link.                                                                                      

Governorship Elections: There are 36 gubernatorial races in 2022. Of these, according to Ballotpedia, 13 are considered especially competitive—as determined by 2020 election results, polls, and whether an incumbent is running. Currently, Democrats control 22 governorships, while Republicans control 28. Whether or not your state is identified as competitive, it is, of course, essential to vote, no matter your state of residence.

Battleground states with Democratic governors up for reelection are: Nevada, Kansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Maine. Other states controlled by Democratic governors are considered safe bets for reelection.

Dates for registering, receiving, and submitting ballots are varied by state. Nevada, for example, holds its primary election on June 14. This is the deadline for registration, receiving a ballot, and submitting the vote. Michigan, by contrast, holds its primary on August 2. Registration and ballot requests must be made by July 30. Maine holds its primary on June 14 and registration and ballot requests must take place the day before, on June 13.  To repeat, specific date information for your own state can be downloaded at votefromabroad.org.

Battleground states in which Republican governors are up for reelection include Texas, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

If Democrats can protect their seats and gain a few Republican ones, prospects improve for many things, among them, election security and enactment of policies that favor democratic interests and goals.

US Senate Elections: There are 34 US Senate seats being contested in 2022. Using criteria mentioned above, Ballotpedia identifies eight races as especially competitive, four each where Democrats or Republicans are respectively incumbent. The battleground states where incumbent Democratic Senators are up for reelection are Nevada (Cortez Mastro), Arizona (Mark Kelly), Georgia (Raphael Warnock), and New Hampshire (Maggie Hassan).

Battleground states in which Republican Senators are up for reelection are Wisconsin (Ron Johnson), Pennsylvania (Pat Toomey-not running), North Carolina (Richard Burr -not running) and Florida (Marco Rubio). Between May and August, Republican Senate primaries will take place in 10 states where the campaigns are identified as competitive. These include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma. Increasing the Democratic party majority in the US Senate is vital to protecting and advancing the democratic agenda.

US House of Representative Elections: Ballotpedia identifies a mere 15 of 435 US Representative campaigns as especially competitive, based primarily on the margin of victory in the 2020 election, the 2020 Presidential election results, whether an incumbent is running, and whether the incumbent is in their first term.

The battleground states include Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, all three races in Nevada, North Carolina, three races in Ohio, Rhode Island, and two races in Texas.

Nonetheless, recognizing the importance of ‘playing offence,’ the Democratic National Committee has targeted at least 22 campaigns in states all across the board as potential gains, including two campaigns in Arizona, four in California, two in Florida, two in Iowa, three in New York, two in Pennsylvania, and two in Texas.

Redistricting congressional districts (based on the 2020 census) is ongoing, controversial, and open-ended. Redistricting, according to a Politico article, “has opened a spate of new opportunities in 2022, creating new, open, safe Democratic seats and leaving some GOP incumbents in deep blue territory” (House Dems Name Top Challenges in Fight for Majority, March 11). By the same token, redistricting has taken some races off the board for Democrats.

State Houses: State House and Senate elections are essential for determining the fate of our politics. Currently, there are 23 states in which Republicans control all three houses of government, especially in western states and the Deep South. Democrats control all three houses of government in only 13 states, particularly on the West Coast and in New England.

In all cases, it is essential for Democrats to retain, win anew, and/or expand their majorities. This can be accomplished by being informed and aware of the election calendar and getting out the vote. Stay tuned. Go to votefromabroad.org.

– Ted France, DA Austria Member-at-Large