2022 midterm elections: What to watch in Congress, states

It is possible – even likely – that the results of some important competitions may take days or even weeks to be finalized.

WASHINGTON — After months of primaries, campaigning events and fundraising calls, the midterm elections that will determine the balance of power in Washington and state capitals have finally arrived.

Republicans are anticipating a major red wave as Democrats anxiously defend their narrow majority in Congress while fighting to overcome concerns about the economy, crime and the leadership of the United States. President Joe Biden. Democrats are hoping that a backlash against the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade will save them.

The political environment has led to an unusually wide playing field as Republicans push for Democratic strongholds like New York, California, New Mexico and Washington state. However, races are underway in states like Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, all of which could help determine the outcome of the 2024 presidential run.

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Due to the close contests and lengthy vote counting, it can take days or weeks before final results are known in some key races.

What we’re watching on Election Day:

DANGEROUS WATER?

All indications are that Republicans made significant gains on Tuesday. But whether it is a red ripple or a tsunami remains to be seen.

Voters are downright pessimistic about the country’s direction as inflation soars and political divisions erupt. And history shows that voters will vent their frustrations with the ruling party.

The party that occupies the White House has suffered significant losses in nearly every presidential first midterm election in more than a century. The exceptions were in 1934 during the Great Depression; in 1998 in the effort to impeach Bill Clinton; and in 2002 after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Democrats initially hoped that the Supreme Court’s decision to remove abortion rights might be enough to break historical trends — or at least limit their damage — but the Democrats Party leaders grew increasingly concerned as Election Day approached.

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Executives in both parties are hoping the GOP will win a House majority, which would require reaching five seats. But with a big wave, the GOP could win 25 new seats or more. Seizing the opportunity, Republican groups invested millions of dollars in Democratic-leaning counties in California, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania in the final days of the election.

The battle for a Senate majority is more competitive. If Republicans choose even one seat, they will control the senate.

Democrats are fighting to protect vulnerable incumbents in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and New Hampshire, while Republicans believe they are in a significant gap in Colorado and Washington states. GOP chances are hampered somewhat by flawed candidates in Arizona, Georgia and New Hampshire, who have been promoted by former President Donald Trump.

Pennsylvania represents the Democrats’ best chance of overturning Republican-held seats, while Republican-held seats in North Carolina and Wisconsin also remain close.

At the same time, the races for governor and statewide officials like the secretary of state were larger than usual. The political climate is giving Republicans confidence in races for dominance in blue states like Oregon and New Mexico.

If a big red wave materializes, Democrats could struggle everywhere.

ROE . EFFECT

After the Supreme Court dismissed Roe v. Wade in June, Republicans, including Trump, loudly worried that the decision could trigger a backlash against counter-offensive GOP candidates. abortion rights. And there have been signs in recent months that voters – especially suburban women and young voters – are energized and ready to vote Democrat on Nov. .

But more than four months after the ruling, the abortion’s effects can fade.

Democratic candidates have shifted their message from abortion in recent weeks to, at least in part, favor the economy, Social Security and Medicare. And some elected officials, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent, warn that Democrats have become too reliant on abortion rights as a matter of concern.

The issue is particularly important in promoting suburban women, a group that opposed Trump’s GOP in 2020 and appeared to return after Trump left office as the GOP shifted focus to pandemic and background restrictions economy.

ARE LATINO VOTERS CORRECT?

Democrats have sought to improve their outreach to Latinos after underperforming the group in 2020. But there are reasons to believe Democrats could be even worse this year. among the key voting blocs, long the mainstay of the party coalition.

Both sides have a particular focus on the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas, made up of dense Latino communities where the Biden administration’s struggle to resolve issues along the US-Mexico border is the central issue. The GOP believes they will win three House seats in the former Democratic stronghold.

The GOP is also upbeat about its position in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, home to 1.5 million voting-age Latinos and a Democratic stronghold for the past 20 years. The GOP made significant gains there in the last presidential election.

If Democrats lose Miami-Dade, it will virtually eliminate their path to victory in statewide contests, including the presidential election.

As a result, the Latino vote will take place in other states but no more than in Arizona and Nevada, where Democratic Catherine Cortez Masto, the nation’s first Latina senator, is locked in a run. tight racing.

HOW DO TRUMP’S CANDIDATES PERFORM?

Trump remains a dominant force in the Republican Party, but Tuesday’s contests will test his strength among broader voters.

Of course, he’s not on the ballot, but dozens of candidates endorsed by Trump are. These include a number of controversial options who have defeated established party-supported alternatives.

If Trump’s more senior supporters struggle, it will raise questions about his political prowess as he considers a possible 2024 presidential run-off right after his term.

In Pennsylvania, Trump loyalist Doug Mastriano, the Republican candidate for governor, has struggled in the polls against Democrat Josh Shapiro. Trump’s choice for the Senate, Dr Mehmet Oz, is locked in a tight race with Democrat John Fetterman. In Arizona, presidential candidate Kari Lake and Senate candidate Blake Masters, both of whom promote Trump’s lies about a stolen 2020 election, are in a position to win. .

Other Trump loyalists to watch out for: Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance, North Carolina Senate nominee Ted Budd, Michigan gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon and New York power leadership candidate Lee Zeldin.

IMPACT OF 2024

In many ways big and small, the 2022 midterms will help shape the 2024 election.

A bad night for Democrats could weaken Biden’s rationale for a second term. And Trump will almost certainly capture the sweeping Republican victories as proof of his political prowess ahead of his third bid for the White House.

Advocates of good government are particularly worried about the dozens of people who refuse to vote for state office on several presidential battlefields.

In Nevada, Republican Jim Marchant is running for secretary of state, the state’s chief election official. Marchant is the head of the First Coalition of US Secretary of State, a gathering of Trump loyalists who falsely claim the 2020 election has been thwarted by voter fraud.

The same is true in Arizona and Michigan, where coalition members Mark Finchem and Kristina Karamo are running for secretary of state. And in Pennsylvania, Republican dominance candidate Doug Mastriano, another vocal voter denier, will have the authority, if he wins, to appoint his primary election official.

Election management aside, other candidates statewide could use Tuesday’s strong showing to secure their spot for the 2024 ticket.

Lake, the Republican candidate for governor, was tipped to be a potential Trump mate while running. And in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis, who is running for re-election Tuesday, is also considering a 2024 presidential bid, whether Trump runs or not.

WHAT WILL WE KNOW BEFORE GOING TO BED?

It is possible – even likely – that the results of some important competitions may take days or even weeks to be finalized.

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In Georgia, a candidate must win at least 50% of the vote to win outright. Otherwise, the election will take place on December 6. Strategists on both sides believe the race for the state Senate, in particular, can do just that.

In other states, the counting process can be lengthy and complicated, especially as voting by mail becomes more common.

Under Arizona law, for example, all ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day, but officials have 20 days to finalize their ballots. In Nevada, counties have four days to count mailed ballots that arrive late and give voters two more days to correct mailed ballots with errors or missing information.

In some swing states, including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, officials are not allowed to begin validating mail-in ballots until Election Day. Nineteen states offer grace periods to receive ballots by mail as long as they are mailed before Election Day. Such ballots in California can be received in up to seven days.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/what-to-watch-2022-midterm-elections/507-a731ee22-fa38-4b14-9881-0fc9a6645913 2022 midterm elections: What to watch in Congress, states

Edmund DeMarche

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