The 2022 Midterm Elections: A Recap


Steven Jiang, Staff Writer

The 2022 United States midterm elections were recently held in November. Here’s what you need to know about the election results and their momentous impact on America. 

This year’s elections served as a referendum on the Democratic leadership of the federal government. Across our nation, Democrats, the party of the incumbent President, defied historical precedents by largely retaining their power. In Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker won re-election by a significant margin over his Republican challenger Darren Bailey. 

2022 was a year of historic firsts, as our elected officials became more diverse and representative of our society. According to Pew Research, ethnic minorities now make up 23% of the congressional body. In Maryland, Democrat Wes Moore will become the first black Governor of the state. Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) will become the first Gen Z member of Congress. In Massachusetts, Governor-elect Maura Healy (D) will become the first LGBTQ governor in the United States. This year was also historic in terms of campaign spending, with a whopping $16.7 billion spent at the federal and state levels. 

Young voter turnout was strong this year, with 27% of eligible Americans aged between 18-29 heading to the polls. Exit polls revealed that rising inflation and the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling were major factors in driving people to vote. The voices of young voters were very consequential in determining the outcomes of the midterm elections.

The “red wave” that many had predicted did not come into fruition. In particular, Trump-endorsed candidates performed significantly below expectations. In Pennsylvania, Senate Republican candidate Mehmet Oz lost to John Fetterman, and Alaskan Republican Senate challenger Kelly Tshibaka, who was backed by Trump, lost to incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The dangerous trend of election integrity denial has continued to plague the Republican Party. In Arizona, Republican candidate Kari Lake refused to accept defeat. Despite the implementation of numerous new voter suppression laws in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, she baselessly alleged voter fraud. As of December 2, 2022, she has not conceded the race to Governor-elect Katie Hobbs.

Regardless of the outcome of the Georgia Senate runoff election, Democrats will hold a majority in the Senate with Vice President Harris casting the tiebreaker. However, if Raphael Warnock (D-GA), defeats Herschel Walker, holding an additional seat would weaken the influence of conservative Democrats such as Joe Manchin (R-WV), allowing for leeway in implementing Biden’s agenda. In the House, the Republicans gained 8 seats, winning a majority in the chamber. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is expected to become the next Speaker of the House. Shortly after the election, outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced that she would be stepping down from House Democratic leadership. Her successor, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), will become the first black congressional caucus leader in American history.

Each election helps determine the course of our nation for years to come. New shifts in policy focus and implementation will occur. For instance, the 118th Congress is expected to make labor and workforce regulations a key priority. Healthcare, especially reproductive rights, will also be a focal point. Republican politicians will likely stall progress on climate change legislation. Congressional Democrats will continue to approve Biden nominees to federal courts, cementing a judicial legacy. In a victory for students and young Americans, funding public schools and combating educator shortages will be on the agenda.

Our government and society are dynamic, so we must always progress forward. If you are old enough to vote, you definitely should. When you vote, you have a voice in our democracy and will help usher in the next generation of American leadership.