What are US midterm elections?

US Capitol.

US midterm elections are elections held during the middle of a president’s four-year term in office (so two years into their term). These elections are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November, which means today.

During midterms, all 435 seats in the US House of Representatives are up for election. This year, 35 out of the 100 senate seats are up for election. Thirty-six states and three territories will also elect their governors for four-year terms during midterm elections.

This year, almost 250 million people in the US are eligible to vote in midterm elections.

Republicans currently hold 50 seats in the Senate, while Democrats hold 48 seats. Two seats are held by independents who caucus with the Democrats. Vice President Kamala Harris, the leader of the Senate and a Democrat, casts the deciding vote in any 50-50 tie.

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Nonpartisan election forecasters and opinion polls have suggested that Republicans have a strong chance of winning a House majority this midterm election. Biden’s approval rating has been running at less than 50% since last August.

Since Democrats vote by mail more often than Republicans do, Democrat votes are often counted later. This can create a “red mirage,” or a false idea that Republicans have won when they haven’t. There are also “blue mirages” in states that count mail ballots earlier.

If Republcanble to take charge of either the House, or the Senate, this could interrupt Biden’s plans on climate change, healthcare, abortion rights, and gun control.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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