The US's 2022 midterm elections are too close to call. On 8 November voters across the country will cast their ballots for their House representative, and many will also vote for a senator and governor. The Democrats presently hold a majority of just eight in the House of Representatives and their chances of holding on to that look poor, with Republicans doing better in the national polls than they did in the last election in 2020. Surveys of battleground seats show a much more nuanced picture, however, with districts previously assumed to be easily won by the Republicans looking close.
President Joe Biden has pretty poor approval ratings. At the end of October 54 per cent of Americans said they disapproved of his performance as president, whereas just 44 per cent said they approved. In Britain a leader would be quite happy with that, but it compares poorly to previous American presidents. Biden's numbers have been somewhat boosted after recent announcements and policy successes in the House and Senate, but voters typically use the midterms to send a message to the party in power.
Independent voters – those formally unaligned to the Democrats or Republicans – are not as enthused about voting Democrat as they once were. But by what margin? The New Statesman's own forecast for the 2022 US House and Senate elections will be updated as new polls come out, and here you can find seat-by-seat breakdowns of how we think the fight for control of Congress is going.
The House elections are comprised of 435 races for congressional districts, many of which have undergone significant changes to their boundaries. The Republicans or Democrats will need 218 seats or more for a majority. Before a couple of resignations and the death of the congresswoman Jackie Walorski in the last few months the Democrats had 222 seats to the Republicans' 213.
Our forecast is for an exact reversal of that, with the Republicans taking 222 seats and the Democrats 213, albeit with plenty of extremely close races. We estimate 39 congressional districts are presently at a virtual coin-toss as to which party will win.
Hover over the seats to see our estimated vote-share breakdown and which way we think they'll go.
The fight for control of the Senate is just as tight as that for Congress, if not more so. There are 100 US senators, but just 35 of the seats will be contested on 8 November across 34 states (in Oklahoma both of senate seats are up for election).
At present there are 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans in the Senate, with Kamala Harris, the vice-president, casting the tie-breaking vote.
Our model predicts only a slight change, and the Democrats retaining control of the Senate, going up from 50 senators to 51 while the Republicans fall one to 49. Pennsylvania is the state most likely to change hands, from Republican to Democrat, at a 61 per cent probability. Wisconsin could also flip to the Democrats, at a probability of 48 per cent.
Georgia, meanwhile, which voted Democrat in its special election in 2021, could also potentially flip, this time to the Republicans. Here, though, we put the probability of that happening at only 39 per cent. There is also a small chance of the Republicans claiming Nevada, too.
What these numbers show is that it will be an incredibly tight election. While we are presently more confident about the Republicans taking control of the House than we are about the Senate staying Democrat, plenty of key marginals are predicted to come down to the wire.
As more polls come out, the numbers and text above will be updated. See the tables below for probabilities of the seats and states that may change hands come election night.