Midterm Election Results

By Kevin Weldon and Louisa Furman

The 2022 midterm elections have wrapped up with decisive results in both chambers of Congress. Across the country, as is the case every other November, every seat in the House and a third of Senate seats were up for election. Coming into the election, analysts projected that a “Red Wave” would sweep the nation and that the GOP would seize decisive control of the House. The GOP was also slightly favored to win the Senate. This theory was based largely on the recent trend in which voters cast their ballots against the party with control over the Presidency in midterm elections. As the approval rating of Democrat President Joe Biden, down 18 percentage points since being sworn in, the likelihood of a Republican takeover of Congress was high. However, the “Red Wave” was not nearly as large as political pundits had predicted.

As projected, the Senate races were tight. Decisive states included Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. Democrats Mark Kelly and Catherine Cortez Masto held seats in Arizona and Nevada respectively while Republicans maintained control of NC and WI via the victories of Budd and Johnson. In Pennsylvania, John Fetterman emerged victorious over Mehmet Oz in the only flipped seat as of December 4. No candidate won over 50 percent of the votes in Georgia, so the race will go to a runoff, or a vote between only Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock, the two top candidates on December 6. Since the other seats were won with relative ease by the incumbent party, the Democratic Party will hold the Senate with either a net gain of one or an even draw.

In the House of Representatives, the Republicans took over the Democratic majority with a net gain of nine seats. Although this gain is significant, it is still less of a margin than expected. Many Republicans were hoping for a gain of around 20 seats, and even with 2 seats left to determine, the seven seat majority is certainly less than expected. However, even though the majority was not quite as overwhelming as predicted, the Republicans will still have control over the House. The Republican control of the House means there will be a split Congress and also allows the Republicans to open several new House investigations. Topics of interest could include the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan, recent border patrol policies, possible influence peddling from Hunter Biden, and various policies concerning COVID-19. Also notable was the election of Democrat Maxwell Frost, who will be the first Generation Z House representative. The high 27% voter turnout between the ages of 18-29 has likely contributed to this, as this number is second in midterm elections only to the 2018 midterms. The election of a young representative, along with the continuing trend of high young voter turnout in recent years, shows the ever-growing impact that younger generations have on the U.S. political system.

The Senate, retained by the Democrats, allows for the party to possess many essential powers of the Legislative Branch. Since the Senate has the ability to confirm the candidates that the President proposes for a variety of positions, Democrats will maintain the power to push through judges, including Supreme Court Justices, if the need arises. Furthermore, since the Senate is the higher of the two bodies in Congress, it has the ability to stop a law passed by the House. 

The Republican Party’s disappointing results have been considered an indicator of former president, and presidential candidate, Donald Trump’s unpopularity with swing voters. This same unpopularity could become an issue for former President Donald Trump if he were to gain the Republican nomination in 2024. Caroline Friendly ’23, and co-head of the Winsor Political Discussion Club, noted that the party may be moving on from Trump as “Florida Governor Ron DeSantis won his re-election by almost 20 points and many in the Republican party are calling him the new face of the party”  But for now, funding for education, healthcare, infrastructure, and more will be impacted by this divided government. However Ms. Liberman, a history teacher at Winsor, emphasized how even with a divided congress, there is “hope that progress and cooperation is still possible!” Friendly, similarly emphasized how this election should show “Winsor and BH students how important it is to get out and vote and how much of an impact their voices can have.”