The new year has arrived, meaning that the 2022 midterm elections are just over 10 months away.
With the Republican sweep of 2021 elections in Virginia and the slim Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, both parties are feeling the pressure to capitalize on this year’s races to either remain in power or take the majority. Here are the five states that will determine the balance of power in 2022.
All eyes are on the Keystone State as incumbent Republican Senator Pat Toomey announced his retirement in October of 2020, leaving the seat open and up for grabs in the midterm cycle.
Pennsylvania voted blue in 2020, and Democrats are hoping to take advantage of Toomey’s retirement and flip the seat to expand their majority. Republicans are worried about the threat of losing the seat and are directing significant efforts towards retaining it.
In a race that could determine control of the senate, high-profile candidates from both parties have thrown their hats in the ring. On the Republican side, former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Carla Sands and television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz are running. Democratic candidates include U.S. Representative Connor Lamb and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman.
Heading south, in Florida, two state-wide races are making national headlines and could have ramifications not only for the third most populous state but also for the nation.
Governor Ron Desantis is facing a potentially tough re-election battle. Having first won election in 2018 by less than 0.5%. Democrats continue to criticize Desantis for his management of the COVID-19 Pandemic and are looking to take the governorship in November. A Democrat win would be the first since 1994. Candidates challenging Desantis include former Governor Charlie Crist and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.
Senator Marco Rubio is running for re-election in a race that could also be a deciding factor for control of the legislative body. Republicans are striving to continue a 2018 and 2020 trend of victory in the state in hopes of holding the seat and regaining the majority. High-profile House Democrat Val Demmings is vying to challenge Rubio and deny him a third term.
In a state that flipped favorably for Biden in 2020, all focus is on this year’s senate race where incumbent Senator Ron Johnson is up for re-election but has yet to announce any plans to do so.
As Wisconsin was the location of one of the tightest Democratic victory margins (0.63%) in 2020, this race has the potential to become the most contested in the midterms.
If Johnson does decide to run, he would potentially be one of the most vulnerable Republicans going into November. He has faced intense criticism from both sides of the aisle for his comments on the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol as well as his assertions about COVID-19 and vaccine safety.
Whether Johnson seeks a third term or the seat is vacant, current Lieutenant Governor and Democratic frontrunner Mandela Barnes aim to secure the win for his party.
A red state turned purple, Georgia is home to two nationally prominent races that will be key for both parties to win.
After receiving backlash from former President Donald Trump over his “inaction” during the 2020 election, Governor Brian Kemp faces not only well-known Democratic challengers but Republican ones as well in what will be a difficult bid for re-election.
Former senator and Trump-endorsed candidate David Perdue has announced a primary challenge to Kemp while former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams announced her second campaign for the office after failing to defeat Kemp in 2018.
After winning the runoff special election in January 2021, Senator Raphael Warnock is seeking a full term in the senate. With a very narrow victory in 2021, Warnock is expecting a fight to retain the seat no matter who his opponent is in November.
Former NFL star Herschel Walker is currently leading the Republican field of candidates for the race.
In the Silver State, a senate race previously thought to be a likely Democratic hold has now become one of the more competitive elections of the cycle.
Incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez Masto’s sinking popularity and narrowing poll margins have Democrats worried that losing the seat could cost them their majority. Masto’s Republican opponents include U.S. army veteran Sam Brown and former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt.
Nevada may also be the location of GOP efforts to take back the House as the Cook Political Report currently rates three out of the state’s four U.S. House seats as potentially competitive.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.