Election Cycle


Midterm elections in the United States are the general elections that are held near the midpoint of a president’s four-year term of office, on Election Day, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Federal offices that are up for election during the midterms include all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives, and 33 or 34 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate.

In addition, 34 of the 50 U.S. states elect their governors for four-year terms during midterm elections, while Vermont and New Hampshire elect governors to two-year terms in both midterm and presidential elections.

As a result, during midterm elections, 36 governors are elected.

Many states also elect officers to their state legislatures in midterm years. There are also elections held at the municipal level. On the ballot are many mayors, other local public offices, and a wide variety of citizen initiatives.

Midterm elections are regarded as a referendum on the sitting president’s and/or incumbent party’s performance. The party of the incumbent president tends to lose ground during midterm elections: since World War II, the President’s party has lost an average of 26 seats in the House, and an average of four seats in the Senate.

However, in the 2022 midterm elections, Democrats dramatically outperformed the historical trend, a widely anticipated red wave election did not materialize, and the race for control was closer than expected.

Issues that favored Democrats included, among others, significant concern over extremism and a lack of respect for democratic norms among Republicans, along with abortion rights and a potential Trump 2024 presidential campaign. Raised concern over climate change and the relative popularity of Biden’s climate policy also played a role. 

Both general turnout and turnout among young voters aged 18–29, which are a strongly Democratic constituency, were the second-highest (after 2018) of any midterm since 1970.

The elections continued demographic trends starting in 2012, in which Republicans made gains among the working class, especially whites but since 2016 also some minorities like Hispanics, while Democrats continued to improve among affluent and college-educated whites.