Election 2022: What are the midterms, who is on the ballot and why are they important?

The midterm elections happen on Tuesday, and Americans will be choosing every seat in the House and a third of those in the Senate.

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The midterm election, as the name implies, happens every four years in the middle of a president’s term in office.

Every midterm election sees all the seats in the House up for election and about a third of the Senate seats on the ballot. The terms of the 100 senators are staggered so that each election sees a third of the seats up for election.

Who will be on the ballot? Here’s a look at the races.

Which races will be on the ballot?

The races on the ballot Tuesday include:

· All 435 seats in the House of Representatives.

· Thirty-five of the 100 Senate seats. Thirty-four of those races are the regular seats up for election every six years, and one race is a special election to fill the four years remaining in the term of Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma who announced his retirement this year.

· Thirty-six states will be electing governors.

In addition to the national races, there will be local races and initiatives on the ballot.

What do the Senate races look like?

Right now, the Senate is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats with 50 seats each. When there is a vote and it is tied, the party that has the presidency — the Democrats now — get to break the tie. The vote is cast by the vice president, Kamala Harris.

Harris has cast 26 tie-breaking votes. Only two other vice presidents, John Calhoun and John Adams, have cast more.

Of the 35 seats on the ballot, the Democrats are defending 14 seats and the Republicans are defending 21.

Which states are having Senate races?

The states holding Senate races in 2022 are:

1. Alabama — Will Boyd (D), Katie Britt (R)

2. Alaska — Patricia Chesbro (D), Buzz Kelly (R), Lisa Murkowski (R), Kelly Tshibake (R)

3. Arizona — Mark Kelly (D) vs. Blake Masters (R)

4. Arkansas — Natalie James (D) vs. John Boozman (R)

5. California — Alex Padilla (D) vs. Mark Meuser (R)

6. Colorado — Michael Bennet (D) vs. Joe O’Dea (R)

7. Connecticut — Richard Blumenthal (D) vs. Leora Levy (R)

8. Florida — Val Demings (D) vs. Marco Rubio (R)

9. Georgia — Raphael Warnock (D) vs. Herschel Walker (R)

10. Hawaii — Brian Schatz (D), vs. Bob McDermott (R)

11. Iowa — Michael Franklin (D) vs. Chuck Grassley (R)

12. Idaho — David Roth (D) vs. Mike Crapo (R)

13. Illinois — Tammy Duckworth (D) vs. Kathy Salvi (R)

14. Indiana — Thomas McDermott (D) vs. Todd Young (R)

15. Kansas — Mark Holland (D) vs. Jerry Moran (R)

16. Kentucky — Charles Booker (D) vs. Rand Paul (R)

17. Louisiana — Gary Chambers (D), Luke Mixon (D) and Syrita Steib, (D), John Kennedy (R)

18. Maryland — Chris Van Hollen (D) vs. Chris Chaffee (R)

19. Missouri — Trudy Valentine (D) vs. Eric Schmitt (R)

20. Nevada — Catherine Cortez Masto (D) vs. Adam Laxalt (R)

21. New Hampshire — Maggie Hassan (D) vs. Don Bolduc (R)

22. New York — Chuck Schumer (D) vs. Joe Pinion (R)

23. North Carolina — Cheri Lynn Beasley (D) vs. Ted Budd (R)

24. North Dakota — Katrina Christiansen (D) vs. John Hoeven (R)

25. Ohio — Tim Ryan (D) vs. J.D. Vance (R)

26. Oklahoma — Madison Horn (D) vs. James Lankford (R)

27. Oklahoma (special election for Jim Inhofe’s seat) — Kendra Horn (D) vs. Markwayne Mullin (R)

28. Oregon — Ron Wyden (D) vs. Jo Rae Perkins (R)

29. Pennsylvania — John Fetterman (D) vs. Mehmet Oz (R)

30. South Carolina — Krystle Matthews (D) vs. Tim Scott (R)

31. South Dakota — Brian Bengs (D) vs. John Thune (R)

32. Utah — Evan McMullin (I) vs. Mike Lee (R)

33. Vermont — Peter Welch (D) vs. Gerald Malloy (R)

34. Washington — Patty Murray (D) vs. Tiffany Smiley (R)

35. Wisconsin — Mandela Barnes (D) vs. Ron Johnson (R)

What do the House races look like?

The House has 221 Democrats and 212 Republicans. Those numbers add up to 433. There are 435 members of the chamber.

The other two were Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski who was killed in a car wreck and Charlie Crist who resigned from the House to run for governor of Florida.

All of the seats are up for election.

Why are the midterm elections important?

The midterms are important for a few reasons. First, it functions as a referendum on a president’s term. Traditionally, the party that has the presidency loses seats in the midterm elections. How many or how few can show those in charge that the country generally agrees or disagrees with the direction the country is going.

Since the mid-1940s, the party of the president has lost 29 seats House seats on average (with the exception of George W. Bush who picked up eight seats) in the president’s first midterm election, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Second, the balance of power is determined by the results of the election. If the party that has the presidency does not have the House and/or the Senate, it makes it difficult for a president to get his ideas into legislation and get those bills passed.

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