With few exceptions, midterm elections are historically bad for candidates of the party that controls the White House. The 2022 midterms won’t just be a referendum on President Biden’s first term, but on the actions of a Democrat-controlled Congress.
The political prediction market, PredictIt, so far paints a more complex picture – showing their traders giving control in the House over to Republicans, and in the Senate to Democrats (as of trading on February 4, 2021).
Senate Democrats will need to defend 14 seats in order to keep their 50-50 majority (with Democrat Vice President Harris being the tiebreaker), which should be easy enough since they are all up in states where Biden won. But the question of increasing their majority is a very different story. Democrats might see North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania as easy pick-up opportunities since their Republican incumbents have all announced that they won’t be running again in 2022. But those are also in states where Biden underperformed his national average, and history gives the advantage there to the Republicans. So it’s anyone’s guess at this point.
For Republicans, they might have history on their side, but they also have 20 incumbents up for reelection, and a lot on the line. In addition to the three Republicans who have already announced they won’t run again, retirement announcements from the Senate Republican caucus’ oldest members – Chuck Grassley, 87, and Richard Shelby, 86 – wouldn’t be all that surprising.
If Republicans will follow the historical norm and gain background in the Senate is anyone’s guess right now. Anyone who has been paying attention in the last year knows that political landscapes can change quickly and in unexpected ways. Check more odds and predictions about the 2022 senate midterm elections with PredictIt.