The 2022 midterm elections will be a referendum on the current President, Joe Biden, and his predecessor, Donald J. Trump—as well as a profound test of American democracy. The midterm primaries began on March 1st, in Texas, and will continue through the fall, allowing voters in each state to narrow the field in races for the House, Senate, and governors’ mansions before the campaigns culminate in the general election, on November 8th. Although Biden won’t be on the ballot in November, Americans’ judgment of his first two years in office, when he faced a resurgent pandemic, the highest inflation in decades, and deep divisions within his own party, will be reflected in the results. The midterms will also provide the latest evidence of whether Trump, the man Biden drove from office, has asserted complete control over the Republican Party—and is succeeding in his continuing effort to undermine trust in elections. If candidates who endorse Trump’s false claim that the 2020 election was stolen win control of state offices, Trump and his supporters could be poised to challenge the outcome of the 2024 Presidential election.
Control of the House and Senate will be decided as well, and history is against the Democrats. The party of the sitting President has typically lost seats in Congress after his first two years in office. If Democrats lose their narrow majority in the House or Senate, Biden’s ability to enact significant legislation will be blocked. And Republicans, if they gain control of the House, will not continue the work of the Select Committee investigating Trump’s role in the storming of Congress, by his supporters, on January 6, 2021.
The New Yorker will publish election results, as reported by the Associated Press, as well as news coverage and commentary, throughout the 2022 campaign.