More than 9.2 million people have voted so far with just two weeks to go before the 2022 midterms as more states have opened early voting.
Republicans are favored to win the House in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, bolstered by frustration over the economy and advantages in the redistricting process that takes place every 10 years. But Democrats are working to hold their ground, campaigning on maintaining access to abortion and other issues.
The outlook is murkier in the Senate, where Republicans are bidding to take back control. Several races in key battleground states are tight, leading Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to say the chances of his party winning a majority are just 50–50.
Republicans could take back the House if they net just five seats in dozens of competitive districts, and they are trying to win dozens. History also gives Republicans reason for optimism. In recent decades, the party that’s held the White House has lost congressional seats in virtually every first-term president’s midterm election.
If Republicans win the House on Nov. 8, the GOP caucus will elect a new speaker and take power on Jan. 3, 2023. They will run every committee and decide what bills come to the House floor. The same would happen if Republicans take back the Senate, although they would elect a new majority leader.
A Republican Senate or House would make life difficult for President Joe Biden and Democrats’ agenda by blocking or delaying passage of bills as well as the the president’s judicial and executive branch nominees.
The majority of House districts aren’t competitive, thanks to a redistricting process that allows state legislatures to draw their own congressional lines if they decide to, although dozens of seats are still in play this year. Many legislatures draw lines to give advantages to one party or the other.