Why Democrats Didnt Take The Senate Despite Winning 11 Million More Votes Than Republicans
Although Republicans retained control of the Senate during this years midterm elections, Democrats actually earned about 11 million more votes.
Reported vote counts show that Democratic Senate candidates this year thus far have won roughly 44 million votes, whereas Republican Senate candidates have earned 33 million, per The Washington Post. That means about 57 percent of the total votes cast went for Senate Democrats. Despite those stats, Republicans managed to flip three seats, bolstering their majority.
Although it might initially sound galling that Democrats earned more votes but didnt get the majority, theres a reason for that: 35 Senate seats were on the ballot this year, and of those, 26 of them were held by Democrats, while only nine were held by Republicans. The fact that most of the seats up for re-election were Democratic made the party more vulnerable to suffer losses, which Sens. Heidi Heitkamp , Joe Donnelly , and Claire McCaskill did.
Why We Wrote This
Historically, the clear pattern is for a presidents party to lose ground in midterm elections. This year, wild-card forces go beyond politics as usual, including voters rising engagement on abortion.
But a funny thing has happened on the way to the shellacking of 2022: It might not materialize.
A confluence of factors is making control of the Senate more competitive from an improvement in gas prices to the Supreme Courts overturning of nationwide abortion rights, an animating issue for Democrats and many independents.
Then theres candidate quality, as Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell put it, referring to struggling GOP nominees in battleground states, many of whom were endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
The closely divided House still seems likely to go Republican on Nov. 8, but by a slimmer margin than once expected.
The dynamic of midterms is very strong. People who are unhappy turn out to vote, and usually its folks not in the presidents party, says Stuart Rothenberg, a veteran political analyst. But clearly, over the past few weeks, theres been a surge in Democratic enthusiasm compared with six months ago.
Not long ago, Democrats seemed resigned to historical precedent that the presidents party almost always loses House and Senate seats in midterm elections, sometimes a lot.
But a funny thing has happened on the way to the shellacking of 2022: It might not materialize.
Dont Be So Sure That Republicans Will Win The Senate
Democrats, including the president, are hardly coasting on high approval ratings, but polls still show the GOP will have a tough time translating that into a legislative sweep.
BOSTON Expectations that Republicans will win control of the U.S. Senate in November, like the apocryphal reports of Mark Twains death, may have been greatly exaggerated.
Republicans face an uphill battle and could very easily lose seats, despite political winds in their favor with President Bidens approval rating hovering near 40% and as many as three-quarters of Americans telling pollsters that the country is on the wrong track.
Right now Id say the Democrats are very slightly favored to hold the Senate, said David Niven, who teaches American politics at the University of Cincinnati.
Based on the fundamentals, youd rather have the Republicans hand this year, but when you look at it race by race, the Democrats are not in bad shape, agreed Stephen Medvic, director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College.
This is due to the peculiarity of which seats are in play this year, some key Republican retirements, and the fact that the GOP has repeatedly followed its 2016 playbook at the state level and nominated celebrity political neophytes rather than proven vote-getters.
Niven commented that, in state after state, Republicans have nominated some variation of Trump rather than the strongest candidate.
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Facing mounting pressure from within the party, Senate Democrats finally hinted Tuesday that an emboldened Schumer may bring the For the People Act back for a second attempt at passage. But with no hope of GOP support for any voting or redistricting reforms and Republicans Senate numbers strong enough to require any vote to cross the 60-vote filibuster threshold, Schumers effort will almost certainly fail.
Senate Democrats are running out of time to protect Americas blue cities, and the cost of inaction could be a permanent Democratic minority in the House. Without resorting to nuclear filibuster reform tactics, Biden, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may be presiding over a devastating loss of Democrats most reliable electoral fortresses.
Max Burns is a Democratic strategist and founder of Third Degree Strategies. Find him on Twitter @themaxburns.
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Policymaking Has A Liberal Bias
Democratic presidents talk more about policy, propose more specific policy ideas, and pass more significant pieces of legislation. The numbers are stark. Since 1945, Democratic presidents have put forward 39 percent more policy proposals than Republican presidents, and 62 percent more domestic policy proposals.
There is a good reason for this asymmetry, write Grossmann and Hopkins. Democrats and liberals are more likely to focus on policymaking because any change that occurs is much more likely to be liberal than conservative. New policies usually expand the scope of government responsibility, funding, or regulation. There are occasional conservative policy successes as well, but they are less frequent and are usually accompanied by expansion of government responsibility in other areas.
The chart above codes significant policy changes by whether they expand or contract the scope of government regulation, funding, or responsibility. Policy changes turned out to be more than three times as likely to expand the scope of government than to contract it. This is often true even when Republicans are signing the laws.
As such, gridlock is often the best small-government conservatives can hope for. And so theyre more comfortable with it than Democrats.
Which Party Is The Party Of The 1 Percent
First, both parties receive substantial support. Much of it comes from registered voters who make $100K+ annually. However, Democrats actually come out ahead when it comes to fundraising for campaigns. In many cases, Democrats have been able to raise twice as much in private political contributions. But what about outside of politicians? Does that mean Democrats are the wealthier party? Which American families are wealthier? Republicans or Democrats?
Honestly, it is probably Republicans. When it comes down to it, the richest families in America tend to donate to Republican candidates. Forbes reported out of the 50 richest families in the United States, 28 donate to Republican candidates. Another seven donate to Democrats. Additionally, 15 of the richest families in the U.S. donate to both parties.
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What Are Senate Runoff Elections And Why Do They Happen
Senate runoff elections do not happen in every state, and only 12 states abide by the runoff election system.
A runoff election happens when more than two candidates run for an office seat, and the electorates votes do not give one candidate a 50% majority. The two candidates that received the most votes in that election hold another election , where the electorate votes again to give one of those two a majority and decide a winner.
Effect Of Republican Retirements
Indeed, 2020 was actually a Democratic-leaning year, with Biden winning the national popular vote by 4.5 percentage points. So theres a good chance that states will be at least a bit redder in 2022 than they were in 2020.
That could make these retirements less of a blow to Republicans than they first appear. Whats more, by announcing their retirements so early, Burr, Toomey and Portman are giving the GOP as much time as possible to recruit potential candidates, shape the field of candidates in a strategic way in the invisible primary and raise more money for the open-seat campaign. And in Ohio specifically, Republicans still look like heavy favorites. Even in the Democratic-leaning environment of 2020, Trump won Ohio by 8 percentage points, implying that its true partisan lean is probably even more Republican-leaning. Ohio is simply not the quintessential swing state it once was dating back to the 2014 election cycle, Democrats have won just one out of 14 statewide contests in Ohio and that was a popular incumbent running in a blue-wave election year .
|Nathaniel Rakich and Geoffrey Skelley, FiveThirtyEight|
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Jennings: We’ve Reached The Joker Phase Of The Biden Presidency
With more than half of this year’s competitive Senate matchups set, the overall electoral environment remains consistent: President Joe Biden‘s poor approval numbers, combined with a pervasive sense that the country is headed in the wrong direction, are weighing down Democrats looking to maintain control of Congress.
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Washington Democratic Senate candidates in five of the six most crucial 2022 races are heading into the final months of the campaign with dramatically more cash in the bank than their would-be Republican opponents, a silver lining in what could be a difficult midterm cycle for their party.
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The Battle For The Senate
Where it stands now: The chamber is split in a rare 50-50 tie between parties, but, technically, the Democratic caucus has the majority, because Vice President Harris casts the tiebreaking vote.
What Republicans need for the majority: Just to net one seat. Thats it. Then, the Senate would stand at 51-49, with Republicans having a one-vote majority.
Where Republicans have a chance to pick up seats: Theyre eyeing at least three purple states where Democrats are running for reelection: Arizona, Georgia and Nevada. The good news for Democrats is that these are all states that Biden won in 2020, albeit not by much. The bad news for Democrats is that Biden won Virginia by a larger margin than any of these states and Virginia Democrats lost all three statewide races last week and their state House majority.
Candidates matter, too, and there its a mixed bag for Republicans. In Georgia, former president Donald Trump endorsed former NFL player Herschel Walker despite allegations of domestic violence against him one of several Republican Senate candidates with ugly pasts.
In Pennsylvania, the estranged wife of a top candidate, Sean Parnell, also endorsed by Trump, accused him of strangling her and hitting his young children. The head of Senate Republicans campaign arm recently wouldnt say whether Parnell is the right candidate for the job.
Who Will Control The Senate In 2022 Democrats Or Republicans
$1.9 trillion Covid relief legislationOn infrastructureinfrastructureRepublicansOn voting rightsFor the People ActRepublicanseven filibusteredindependent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.First Read is your briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the days most important political stories and why they matter.www.nbcnews.com
After President Biden signed his $1.9 trillion Covid relief legislation into law back in March, political observers were calling him a transformational president.Since then, however, there hasnt been a lot of transformation in Washington at least when it comes to Bidens legislative agenda.On infrastructure, Senate Democrats dont have 50 votes to go it alone, given Sen. Joe Manchins desire for a bipartisan deal. And there still isnt an obvious path forward to cut a bipartisan infrastructure deal with Republicans.On voting rights, Manchin said hell the For the People Act that the Senate will take up later this month.And last month, Senate Republicanseven filibustereda bill to create an independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.First Read is your briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the days most important political stories and why they matter.www.nbcnews.com
UnTrueManchin is opposing his own voters.This is an understatement. THEY LOVE HR-1But on HR1, they support it far more.
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Here’s Why Democrats Could Keep The Senate
Analysis by Harry Enten, CNN
Election Day 2022 is now four months away. Democrats are trying to hold on to slim majorities in both the House and Senate. They’re doing so against the backdrop of high inflation and an economy viewed in poor shape, which is the issue dominating voters’ minds.
Looking Forward To The Rest Of This Congress
On Wednesday, February 3, the Senate unanimously agreed to S. Res. 27, which codifies the power sharing agreement. It is substantially the same as S. Res. 8 of the 107th Congress, with only minor technical differences that do not affect how it operates. Also, it agreed to resolutions putting majority and minority members on committeesformally allowing the Democrats to take control of the chairmanshipsand electing a Democratic Secretary of the Senate.
In addition to adopting these resolutions, Majority Leader Schumer and Republican Leader McConnell engaged in a dialogue about how they would lead their parties and the Senate for the rest of the Congress. Schumer pledged to open the amendment process, by refraining from filling the amendment tree, a practice whereby the Majority Leader introduces several essentially meaningless amendments that prevent other, substantial amendments from being considered. Its a practice that has increased over the past few decades, to the detriment of the Senates open amendment process. I amopposed to limiting amendments by filling the tree unless dilatory measures prevent the Senate from taking action and leave no alternativesThat is how we will operate in the 117th Congress under the new Democratic majority, Schumer said.
The Sausage Factory blog is a Congressional Institute project dedicated to explaining parliamentary procedure, Congressional politics, and other issues pertaining to the Legislative Branch.
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The Party Thats Actually Best For The Economy
Many analyses look at which party is best for the economy. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that Democratic presidents since World War II have performed much better than Republicans. On average, Democratic presidents grew the economy by 4.4% each year versus 2.5% for Republicans.
A study by Princeton University economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson found that the economy performs better when the president is a Democrat. They report that by many measures, the performance gap is startlingly large. Between Truman and Obama, growth was 1.8% higher under Democrats than Republicans.
A Hudson Institute study found that the six years with the best growth were evenly split between Republican and Democrat presidents.
Most of these evaluations measure growth during the presidents term in office. But no president has control over the growth added during his first year. The budget for that fiscal year was already set by the previous president, so it’s helpful to compare the gross domestic product at the end of the presidents last budget to the end of their predecessors last budget.
For Obama, that would be the fiscal year from October 1, 2009, to September 30, 2018. Thats FY 2010 through FY 2017. During that time, annual GDP increased from $15.6 trillion to $17.7 trillion, or 14%. Thats 1.7% per year.
The chart below ranks the presidents since 1929 on the average annual increase in GDP.
United States Senate Elections 2022
|U.S. Senate Elections by State|
|U.S. House Elections|
Elections to the U.S. Senate will be held on , and 34 of the 100 seats are up for regular election. Those elected to the U.S. Senate in the 34 regular elections in 2022 will begin their six-year terms on January 3, 2023.
Two special elections are also scheduled for November 8, 2022. One special election will be held to fill the final four years of Sen. Jim Inhofe‘s six-year term that began in 2021. Inhofe announced his resignation effective January 3, 2023. The other special election will be held to fill the final weeks of the six-year term that Kamala Harris was elected to in 2016. That U.S. Senate seat is also up for regular election in 2022, for a total of 35 individual seats up.
Fourteen seats held by Democrats and 21 seats held by Republicans are up for election in 2022. Republicans are defending two Senate seats in states Joe Biden won in the 2020 presidential election: Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Democrats are not defending any Senate seats in states Donald Trump won in 2020.
Following the 2020 Senate elections and the January 2021 runoffs in Georgia, Democrats and Republicans split the chamber 50-50. This gave Vice President Kamala Harris a tie-breaking vote, and Democrats control of the U.S. Senate via a power-sharing agreement.
On this page, you will find information on the following:
As of June 2022, election forecasters viewed this race as a Toss-up.
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