After a slow march toward midterm season, the midterm elections have finally arrived. In mere days, the nation will turn out and vote on hundreds of races that will dictate the makeup of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.
It’s been a strange midterm season, where the narrative hasn’t followed tradition; typically, the out party is heavily favored in midterms due to an energized base of voters that whiplash against the party that’s in power in the White House. Yet, after the Dobbs Supreme Court decision that overturned abortion being a constitutional right, public backlash against Republicans seemed to indicate that conventional wisdom might not apply to Democrats in this election cycle.
As we inch closer and closer, conventional wisdom is that the House of Representatives is still a long shot for Democrats, but that they’re currently favored to hold on to the Senate. Yet, those chances have slightly eroded over the past few weeks, as the economy and gas prices have rapidly shifted to the front of many voters’ minds. While the Dobbs decision is still one that motivates plenty of voters, the continuing struggles with inflation and energy are moving to center stage along with reproductive rights.
While there are a handful of Senate races that are expected to be tight, expect it to come down to Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Nevada. Democratic incumbents in Georgia and Nevada (Raphael Warnock and Catherine Cortez Masto, respectively) are in tight races against Republican challengers Herschel Walker (Georgia) and Adam Laxalt (Nevada). In Pennsylvania, Republican Senator Pat Toomey is retiring, leaving a race where both candidates are new faces to the Senate campaign trail: Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz.
The midterms, from top to bottom, will be a key indicator of political headwinds going into 2024, and an indication on how much of President Biden’s agenda will be possible to enact. Outside of national congressional races, state-wide campaigns such as for governor (where in Texas, incumbent Greg Abbott is running for reelection against challenger Beto O’Rourke), Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor are all on the ballot as well as county judge races (including Harris County, where incumbent Lina Hidalgo is running for another term and challenger Alexandra del Moral Mealer is seeking to unseat her), and other municipal/city elections.
For information on voting, from early voting to candidates running in Texas, the Texas Tribune has a great one-stop-shop with a plethora of information. You can check it out at: www.texastribune.org/2022/09/08/texas-voting-elections-2022/.
Early voting runs through November 4. Happy voting!
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