The Washington Examiner: Your Midterm Election Preview & Night Guide
Your Midterm Election Night Guide
By: Ron Faucheux (The Washington Examiner)
November 08, 2022: Tuesday’s midterm elections are upon us. What to watch for as results roll in?
Handicappers believe Democrats have 40-45 House seats at risk and Republicans about a dozen. A national wind could push the closest races in one direction. Analysts expect Republicans to pick up 20 to 35 seats, giving them a clear House majority (they only need five more seats).
The Senate is ground zero this year. It’s currently split 50-50, with the Democratic vice president breaking ties. To shift control, Republicans need a one-seat net gain. Based on polling averages, Republicans are ahead in enough states, albeit by narrow margins, to win at least a 51-seat Senate majority. But Republican operatives hope to do better. They now view 52 seats as their floor, not a ceiling, and think they could reach 53, 54, or even 55. Democrats hope to keep their bare Senate majority, which would be a victory for them given the political atmosphere. To do so, they would have to knock off one Republican seat, such as Pennsylvania, and limit their incumbent loss to one, perhaps Nevada or Georgia.
But when you have this many close races, anything can happen.
Voting closes in some states between seven and eight o’clock eastern time. An early race to watch is Indiana’s First District. Democratic U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan, a Joe Biden loyalist, won the Democratic-leaning seat in 2020 with 57%. His defeat would portend a good night for Republicans. In Georgia, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock faces former football-great Herschel Walker (R). Also in the Peach State, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has consistently led Democrat Stacey Abrams in polls; it would be an upset if he loses. A Kemp win would show that a Republican can survive Donald Trump’s opposition in the primary and then win a swing-state general election.
North Carolina’s open-seat Senate campaign is noteworthy as well. Republican Ted Budd has steadily led the polls, but it’s fairly close. A big Budd victory means Republican voters are turning out. Next is Florida. If Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R) don’t do well, that will give Democrats much to crow about. But polls show they should win with votes to spare. For DeSantis, a strong margin (10 points or more) would help make the case that he’s a more electable GOP presidential contender than Trump.
While Republican J.D. Vance is running slightly ahead, his loss would demonstrate that strong Democratic candidates, such as opponent Tim Ryan, can steer through GOP headwinds. Ohio has three consequential House races: one open seat, one with a Republican incumbent, Steve Chabot, and one with a Democratic incumbent, Marcy Kaptur. Watch if either party sweeps them all.
New Hampshire could be crucial. Recent polling finds Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan in hot water. If she loses, it likely means Republicans will sweep competitive Senate races. Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas is also struggling to win reelection in the state’s emblematic swing district; it’s worth watching.
Virginia lacks statewide contests but has two hot House races. If Democrats lose incumbents Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria, it signals a strong GOP tide the rest of the night.
Another battleground is Michigan. Republicans have gone all out to beat Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who leads in the polls. A Whitmer loss would be a stinging rebuke to Democrats in a critical state. Michigan has three combative House elections to follow. The Third District seat is open and the other two have Democratic incumbents, Elissa Slotkin and Dan Kildee.
These states and districts will be early indicators Tuesday night. Later on, votes from other key states –especially Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, and Wisconsin – will roll in and tell the final story of the 2022 midterm election.
Ron Faucheux is a nonpartisan political analyst.
Source: The Washington Examiner