The Senate is currently equally divided among both Republicans and Democrats, with Democrats having the tie-breaking vote of Vice President Kamala Harris. With the 2022 midterms rapidly approaching, both parties are bracing themselves to flip some senate seats and gain an absolute majority in the senate. Democrats need the majority to eliminate filibuster while Republicans need the majority in the senate to block policy efforts from Democrats and give the Biden Administration a tough time passing their policies. In the House of Representatives, Democrats have a razor-thin majority, and if Democrats lose more than four seats in midterms they are done in House too.
The 2022 midterms will not only be the first test of Joe Biden’s presidency, but it will also be the first election to be held after the redrawing of the congressional map. Now, this could give a huge opportunity to Republicans to flip Democrat seats and use them to establish control in the senate.
In last year’s elections, Republicans succeeded in maintaining their dominance in state elections which provided them with an opportunity to fight back the Democrats. Congressional maps were drawn with state governments having full authority to make changes. Republicans had such authority in almost 187 congressional districts while Democrats had only in 75. The Republican-dominated redistricting had provided the Republican Party the ability to rearrange the 187 congressional to benefit Republican candidates.
The Democrats need to win the midterms to not only maintain control in House and establish control in the Senate, but to also keep the Biden popularity intact and to keep the Democratic base mobilized. In the last three decades, there have been only two chances when the ruling party maintained its Congressional control, both having an approval rating of above 60 points.
In the Senate, things have become more difficult for Democrats as many Democratic seats are showing signs of flipping towards the Republican side. Republicans only need one senate seat to flip the senate majority in their favor. Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan from New Hampshire is currently in a bad situation with GOP Governor Chris Sununu entering the race. New Hampshire could be the Republican pass to enter the senate with a majority. Republicans are focusing on flipping New Hampshire while only saving the rest of the seats. While Democrats not only have to save New Hampshire but also have to flip some Senate seats to eliminate the filibuster and establish an absolute majority. Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock is also a prime target of the GOP as the state is traditionally conservative and could be flipped with an effective strategy.
However, Democrats could get an advantage in 2022 midterms races if they pass the voting rights legislation. The legislation has already passed the House and now is expected to enter in Senate soon. This legislation could help Democrats to override the advantage Republicans get from redistricting. It will help the Democrats to lure the Black voters. However, with an equally divided senate, there are very rare chances that Democrats will be able to pass this legislation from the upper house of Congress.