Robert B. Hubbell , November 14, 2022
- At the state level, Democrats did not lose control of a single legislature in 2022 that they previously held, a feat not accomplished by the president’s party during a midterm election since 1934. See WaPo. Indeed, Democrats expanded their control of Michigan’s House and Senate, Minnesota’s Senate, and (likely) Pennsylvania’s House.
- Also at the state level, Democratic gains at the gubernatorial level will be the best since at least 1986—and could get better if Katie Hobbs wins in Arizona!
- In the US Senate, not losing a seat—much less picking up seats—is a once-in-a-quarter-century event. On average, the party in power loses seven seats in the US Senate and has gained seats on only four occasions since 1934.
- In the House, the party in power usually loses an average of 26 seats. Although results in the House remain uncertain, it appears that Republicans may gain only a handful of seats—if that! Although Democrats have a narrow path to retaining control of the House, it is an uphill fight. We should be patient and keep our expectations in check.
The combination of the above factors fairly describes success not seen since FDR’s first midterm in 1934.
Democrats will be able to confirm federal court judges with a simple majority. With 116 vacancies — and 62 lacking nominations, Democrats can make plenty of impact over the next two years. A Democratic majority in the Senate will also retain power over which bills come to the floor for discussion — meaning they can reject approved bills from a Republican-led House. Democrats would have more leverage over Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), the more conservative members of the party, in order to get legislation passed.