Midterms 2022: what to expect and look for

Polling+places%2C+like+this+one+just+down+the+street+from+WS%2C+will+be+littered+with+campaign+signs+and+tents+with+both+republican+and+democrat+sample+ballots.

Photo courtesy of Luke Yates

Polling places, like this one just down the street from WS, will be littered with campaign signs and tents with both republican and democrat sample ballots.

Next week, the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate will be up for election. Known as the “midterms” for their place about halfway through the sitting Presidents term, these elections are just as important as the Presidential election.

These midterms, like many before them, have a few major storylines and issues at the core that ultimately will be the deciding factor in either party’s success or failure in November. For the Republicans, their campaigning has been focused on the Biden administration’s handling of the Ukraine and Russia war, inflation, and the economy. And for Democrats, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, radical policy proposals from the right, and Biden’s legislative accomplishments will be their main rallying cry.

VA House Races

Virginia has no Senators up for re-election this cycle, as Mark Warner was re-elected in 2020, and Tim Kaine in 2018. But, all 11 of Virginia’s house seats are up for grabs, these are the RealClearPolitics (RCP) projections for each race.

VA – 1: Rob Wittman (R-Incumbent) vs. Herb Jones (D) – Likely Republican

VA – 2: Elaine Luria (D-Inc.) vs. Jen Kiggans (R) – Lean Republican (flip)

VA – 3: Bobby Scott (D-Inc.) vs. Terry Namkung (R) – Safe Democrat

VA – 4: Donald McEachin (D-Inc.) vs. Leon Benjamin (R) – Safe Democrat

VA – 5: Bob Good (R-Inc.) vs. Joshua Throneberg (D) – Safe Republican

VA – 6: Ben Cline (R-Inc.) vs. Jennifer Lewis (D) – Safe Republican

VA – 7: Abigail Spanberger (D-Inc.) vs. Yesli Vega (R) – Tossup

VA – 8: Don Beyer (D-Inc.) vs. Karina Lipsman (R) – Safe Democrat

VA – 9: Morgan Griffith (R-Inc.) vs. Taysha DeVaughan (D) – Safe Republican

VA – 10: Jennifer Wexton (D-Inc.) vs. Hung Cao (R) – Safe Democrat

VA – 11: Gerry Connolly (D-Inc.) vs. Jim Myles (R) – Safe Democrat

All in all, if these projections are true, Virginia will be represented by 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans, with the tiebreaker going to whichever candidate wins the Virginia 7th District race. But what happens in Virginia, other than the potential for the GOP to pick up two house seats, isn’t the main story of the election. The main story has followed a few Senate races in swing states.

PA Open Senate – Fetterman vs. Oz

The most publicized Senate race in this election cycle has been the open race in Pennsylvania. Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman (D) and talk -show host Dr. Mehmet Oz (R) have had a wildly vicious campaign filled with nasty ads, Twitter spats, and cable news firestorms. Fetterman, criticized for his allegiances with left-wing political figures like Bernie Sanders, is currently projected to win this race, but a stroke he suffered on the campaign trail has called his physical fitness for the job into question. Oz has made the release of Fetterman’s medical records a central piece of his campaign. Fetterman has countered with the fact that Oz does not currently reside in Pennsylvania, as well as his exuberant wealth, which may make Oz out of touch with the everyday Pennsylvanian. RCP has the projection at Fetterman +0.2 in their polling average.

Georgia Senate – Warnock vs. Walker

If Fetterman vs. Oz is the most publicized, this race in Georgia is a close second. Incumbent Raphael Warnock (D), who won a tight open election for the seat in 2020, is up against University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker (R). The race has recently entered center stage because of a scandal that has struck the Walker campaign involving his own son, Christian. Christian made a name for himself as a conservative commentator on social media, specifically his wildly popular TikTok page, has been critical of his own father because of his “hypocritical” stance on abortion, stating that Walker has made women get abortions many times. This scandal blew up to epic proportion when Christian posted a series of videos to Twitter, stating “I’ve stayed quiet for nearly two years as my whole life has been lied about publicly.” As of now, RCP’s polling average is at Walker +1.5.

Key Races in the Senate

Three more races might decide which party has control over the Senate, all of which have razor thin polling margins. Congressman Tim Ryan (D) vs. author J.D. Vance (R) in an open senate race in Ohio, Mark Kelly (D-Inc.) vs. Blake Masters (R) in Arizona, and Cheri Beasley (D) vs. Ted Budd (R) in the open senate race in North Carolina. Chances are that the results of these races, along with the two previously discussed, will decide the make-up of Congress until 2024.

In terms of total projections, Politico’s projections have the Senate as a pure toss-up, and the House of Representatives as likely Republican. Anything can change though with a few days to go until the Election.

Results for every race discussed are below (All projections via The Associated Press)

VA-1

Rob Wittman (R-Inc.): 56.8% – Projected Winner

Herb Jones (D): 42.3%

VA-2

Elaine Luria (D-Inc.): 48%

Jen Kiggans (R): 52% – Projected Winner

VA-3

Bobby Scott (D-Inc.): 67.3% – Projected Winner

Terry Namkung (R): 32.7%

VA-4

Donald McEachin (D-Inc.): 63.8% – Projected Winner

Leon Benjamin (R): 36.2%

VA-5

Bob Good (R-Inc): 58% – Projected Winner

Joshua Throneberg (D): 42%

VA-6

Ben Cline (R-Inc.): 64.7% – Projected Winner

Jennifer Lewis (D): 35.3%

VA-7

Abigail Spanberger (D-Inc.): 52% – Projected Winner

Yesli Vega (R): 48%

VA-8

Don Beyer (D-Inc.): 73.4% – Projected Winner

Karina Lipsman (R): 25.1%

VA-9

Morgan Griffith (R-Inc.): 73.5% – Projected Winner

Taysha DeVaughan (D): 26.5%

VA-10

Jennifer Wexton (D-Inc.): 52.9% – Projected Winner

Hung Cao (R): 47.1%

VA-11

Gerry Connolly (D-Inc.): 66.4% – Projected Winner

Jim Myles (R): 33.6%

PA Open Senate

John Fetterman (D): 50.5% – Projected Winner

Mehmet Oz (R): 47.1%

GA Senate

Raphael Warnock (D-Inc.): 49.4%

Herschel Walker (R): 48.5%

Run-off election will be scheduled

OH Open Senate

Tim Ryan (D): 46.7%

J.D. Vance (R): 53.3% – Projected Winner

AZ Senate

Mark Kelly (D-Inc.): 51.4% – Projected Winner

Blake Masters (R): 46.5%

NC Open Senate

Cheri Beasley (D): 47.1%

Ted Budd (R): 50.7% – Projected Winner

House of Representatives:

D: 204

R: 211

Control: No majority yet.

Senate:

D: 50

R: 49

Control: Democrat