Updated: November 18, 2022
Following the initial post-election analysis we released on November 9, several critical races in the US Senate and House of Representatives have been certified, which has also determined party control of each chamber. This updated analysis incorporates those results and continues to provide analysis on what the election likely means for a host of policy areas – both in the Lame Duck session in 2022 and in the 118th Congress beginning in January.
Republicans have won a narrow House of Representatives majority, and Democrats will retain their slim Senate majority.
While pundits forecast a Red Wave sweeping across the country, voters delivered a different message.
- Historically, the president’s party suffers during the first midterm election as voters seek to vent against the party in power.
- As anticipated, Democrats lost control of the House, but not by as wide of a margin as projected.
- With victories in Nevada and Arizona, Democrats now hold a 50-49 edge in the Senate. Senate Democrats will retain the majority regardless of the outcome of Georgia’s December 6 Senate runoff –due to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote should there be a 50-50 Senate.
- The election showed that candidate quality matters, as do issues (e.g., inflation, abortion, crime) and voter enthusiasm.
The narrow majorities in both chambers suggest America remains divided, and compromise will be needed to overcome policy gridlock.
- Democrats will not hold a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate, which is needed to overcome a filibuster, limiting debate and allowing the chamber to proceed to a bill’s consideration.
- Given that limitation, nothing significant will become law without compromise in the House and the Senate.
Updated: November 14, 2022
Democrats Reverse Historical Trend to Retain Senate Control; Republicans are in the Driver’s Seat for the House Majority
Senate Democrats will begin 2023 in a familiar place – the Senate majority. Late Saturday evening, the Associated Press called the Nevada Senate race for incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. The announced victory comes on the heels of incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly’s victory in Arizona on Friday.
With victories in Nevada and Arizona, Democrats now hold a 50-49 edge in the Senate. Senate Democrats will retain the majority regardless of the outcome of Georgia’s December 6 Senate runoff – due to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote should there be a 50-50 Senate. Nonetheless, the runoff battle in Georgia between incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) remains impactful. A Warnock victory would allow Senate Democrats to lose one vote but still meet the simple majority threshold to advance judicial nominations. Conversely, a Walker victory and a 50-50 Senate would require all Senate Democrats to support President Biden’s nominations – should all Republicans withhold support.
As originally reported, Republicans are expected to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives though the exact margin hangs in the balance. As of Monday morning - Republicans have 212 House seats, Democrats hold 203, and 20 races are not yet called. Upon final confirmation of House results, we will update our analysis to provide a more definitive look-ahead to the 118th Congress.
Published: November 9, 2022
This presentation provides an analysis of the US mid-term elections – not a recitation of who won and who lost, but what the shift in power dynamics means for major policy areas.
Note: given the continued (and perhaps prolonged) uncertainty with the remaining open Senate races in particular, the presentation notes that uncertainty and will be updated once those elections are certified.