7 things to know about the U.S. midterms

Results are still being counted in the U.S. midterms.
Kevin McCarthy house speaker

Results are still being counted in the U.S. midterms.

Since there are so many elections happening at once – for the House of Representatives, the Senate, state governors, and even votes on specific issues – it can be difficult to keep track of what’s happened.

Here are a few key headlines.

1: The Big Picture

Republicans will have a majority in the House of Reps, but a smaller one than many expected. They’re set to gain about 12 seats in total.

This fits a pattern. The party of the president has lost seats in almost every midterm since 1946. This loss is smaller than losses under Donald Trump (40) and Barack Obama (13 and 63).

The Senate is still too close to call. Out of 100 seats, the Democrats have 48 and lead in one more, the Republicans have 49 and lead in one more, and one seat in Georgia was so close a second vote will be held next month.

2: Bad day for Trump

Midterm results can make or break the chances of potential presidential candidates. This time, there was a big focus on Donald Trump, who has strongly hinted he plans to run again in 2024.

Trump endorsed a number of candidates. In the lead-up to the vote, he said: “I think if they win I should get all the credit, and if they lose I should not be blamed at all.”

Many Trump-endorsed candidates did not perform as well as expected, and Republicans performed poorly in several key states that delivered Trump the presidency in 2016.

3: DeSantis wins big

One of Trump’s biggest potential rivals to be the Republican nominee for the presidency in 2024 is Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis was up for re-election at these midterms and won a resounding victory. Republicans performed well across the board in the state of Florida, which some have interpreted as a boost to DeSantis’ prospects.

DeSantis has not yet confirmed whether he plans to run for President.

4: Historic wins

There were a number of historic milestones across the country. One was the election of the first member of Gen Z to Congress – 25-year-old Democrat Maxwell Frost of Florida.

A record number of LGBTIQ+ candidates (678) ran across the country.

Massachusetts, Arkansas and New York elected female governors for the first time, and Vermont became the last state in the country to elect its first woman to Congress.

5: Election denial

Dozens of Republican candidates had previously made public statements questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election result. Most of these candidates lost.

There were also some candidates who would not commit to accept the result of their own elections. One prominent example is Kari Lake, the Republican candidate for Governor of Arizona. That race remains too close to call, but Lake has already raised unsubstantiated claims about the vote count.

6: Abortion votes

Some states also held votes on specific issues. Several states held votes relating to abortion, following a Supreme Court decision earlier this year which gave them the power to decide abortion laws.

Voters in Vermont, California and Michigan voted to include a right to abortion in their state constitutions. Voters in Kentucky rejected an amendment to their constitution which would have stated there is no right to an abortion in the state.

7: Slavery

Voters in Alabama, Tennessee, Vermont and Oregon voted to remove language from their state constitutions that permitted slavery as punishment for a crime.

The U.S. Constitution was amended in 1865 to ban slavery, but the amendment included an exception for slavery as a punishment. States have used this exception to force prisoners to work.

Louisiana voters rejected a similar change due to confusion over wording, but are expected to vote again in the future.

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