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Deliberation Nation

Election Day 2022 is here. For up-to-date analysis from FGS Global experts before and after the results, bookmark our 2022 U.S. Election Dashboard. 

Deliberation Nation

On the last day Americans can cast their ballots in the 2022 midterm elections, here are the arguments each party wants voters to take to the polls:  

  • Republicans want this election to be a referendum on the economy. 

    • With a message focused on the economy and crime, Republicans are confident about winning the House and have reason to be optimistic about the Senate. 51% of voters trust Republicans to do a better job handling both crime and the economy (compared to 35% and 37% who trust Democrats more, respectively). 

    • As they gain momentum, GOP money is being spent in bluer districts that were not competitive two months ago.

  • Democrats want this to be a choice election.

    • Democrats have recalibrated their messaging to put more emphasis on the economy and election integrity.

    • But they continue to focus on abortion, the future of democracy and how a Republican takeover would threaten Social Security and turn back progress on health care.

    • Fifty percent of voters say a candidate’s position on abortion, threats to democracy and voting and addressing the cost of living by raising taxes on corporations is more important in deciding their vote. That’s compared to 44% who say a candidate’s position on crime, the situation at the border and addressing the cost of living by cutting government spending is more important.

Here’s how the winning party could impact governing for years to come:

  • President Biden’s agenda:

    • If the GOP takes the House or Senate, Biden’s legislative agenda will grind to a halt.

    • If Democrats keep both chambers, it could cement their mandate.

  • Investigations:

    • If the GOP takes control of the House, the Jan. 6 commission will likely dissolve.

    • New investigations could move forward focused on topics like Hunter Biden and the Mar-a-Lago raid.

  • Nominations:

    • If the GOP takes the Senate, many of Biden’s court and agency nominees could be blocked until after 2024.

  • State-level powers & policy:

    • Abortion could be restricted or banned in several states.

    • Secretary of State races will determine which party has power to verify (or contest) 2024 presidential election results.

Read on for our Research and Insights team’s full election analysis.

By the Numbers

Races to Watch

Our Research and Insights team compiled a list of bellwether races to keep an eye on this evening in order of poll closing times:

Polls that close at 7pm EST:

  • Florida Gubernatorial

  • Georgia Senate

  • Maine’s 2nd 

  • Three races in Virginia: VA-02, VA-07, VA-10

Polls that close at 7:30pm EST:

  • Ohio’s 1st

Polls that close at 8pm EST:

  • Two races in Michigan: Gubernatorial and MI-07

  • Three races in Pennsylvania: Senate, Gubernatorial, PA-07

  • Kansas Gubernatorial

  • New Hampshire Senate

  • Texas’s 15th

Polls that close at 9pm EST:

  • Two races in Arizona: Senate and Gubernatorial

  • Two races in Wisconsin: Senate and Gubernatorial

  • Iowa’s 3rd

  • Nebraska’s 2nd

  • New York Gubernatorial

  • Pennsylvania Senate

Polls that close at 10pm EST:

  • Nevada Senate

Polls that close at 11pm EST:

  • California’s 27th

  • Washington Senate

Several important races may not be called on Election Night as mail ballots are counted, including closely watched races in PA, WI, OH, and NV. Because Democrats tend to cast more mail ballots, initial results may indicate a Republican lead before all ballots are counted.

View from the (Former) Press Box

Nedra here: As a former White House reporter, I see the midterms as the first day of the 2024 presidential race. What themes and personalities will win the hearts and minds of voters? Many politicians we’ve seen campaigning this midterm –for themselves or on behalf of others –clearly have higher ambitions and are laying the groundwork for a presidential run. And there’s no bigger shadow campaign than the one being run by the current president amid more Democrats calling for him not to run for re-election.

Here’s what else some of my fellow FGS colleagues who also happen to be former political reporters are watching:

Beth FouhyI’ll be watching for turnout, particularly among younger voters. We saw a noticeable surge in registration among younger voters after the Dobbs decision. Will those voters turn out? Historically, younger voters are very underrepresented in midterm elections. I’ll also be watching the Hispanic vote in several key states, including Nevada and Florida. While still largely Democratic, we’ve seen a slow, steady movement to the right among some Hispanic voters, especially younger men. Will that still be the case this time

Anne GearanLike everyone else I’ll be looking at Georgia and Pennsylvania, but I think it’s worth stepping back a bit and thinking about how those two very different states have emerged as pivotal. The dynamics making each state competitive share characteristics yet look different: urbanization, ease of employment but inability to afford housing, changing demographics, class disparities.

Jennifer Loven: I’m watching whether the political media capture the true drivers behind the results. Can the media go beyond stubborn horse-race obsession and simplistic issue reporting to explain the myriad types of anger and fear across demographics, like women, rural communities, left-behind geographies, young people, urban dwellers, voters of color and more? Companies need to understand whose anger and fear won this time, and where and why, because those are their customers, employees, investors and regulators.

November 8, 2022
By Nedra Pickler and Irene Moskowitz
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