The 2022 midterms have arrived. The 435 seats in the House, where representatives serve two-year terms, are all up for election. Republicans only need to gain five seats to gain the majority in the chamber, whereas Democrats currently have a razor-thin advantage.

A total of 35 seats in the 100-seat Senate are up for election. Democrats currently dominate the chamber, where incumbents serve six-year terms, thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris‘ ability to break ties. To seize control, though, Republicans only need a net gain of one seat. 

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Here are the key issues driving the November 8 midterm elections:


Inflation is making a comeback and gaining attention in the elections like a monster from a 1970s movie.

Voters in this year’s midterm elections are more concerned about rising prices than abortion, crime, and other contentious issues.

Consumer prices are rising at a rate that is over four decades’ quickest at the time of the election. Inflation for the year was 8.2% in September. From the 9% rate in June, which was the highest since 1981, that is only marginally lower.

Americans are becoming increasingly anxious as a result of the price increase as they pay more for groceries, gas, and other necessities.

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When President Biden initially took office, inflation was not a major problem. Despite the fact that the pandemic has caused sporadic price rises for items like lumber, the general cost of living was only increasing by less than 2% annually.

As it awaited its first year in office, the new administration was more worried about jobs, foreseeing a repetition of the slow recovery that followed the global financial crisis. In January of last year, the jobless rate was 6.4%, down from around 15% in the early epidemic months. However, the economy had lost 115,000 jobs in the month prior to Joe Biden’s inauguration due to the rise of COVID-19 cases.

The $1.9 trillion economic relief plan was swiftly enacted by congressional Democrats, and it featured direct payments of $1400 to the majority of people, enhanced unemployment benefits, and a new child tax credit.

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It was effective in stimulating the economy. Since Biden assumed office, employers have created more than 10 million new jobs. Republicans, however, attribute the cause of the price explosion to the aggressive relief measure that was passed without GOP backing.


For the 2022 midterm elections, voters’ top concerns are abortion.

The question for Democrats is whether or not the energy released by this summer’s Roe v. Wade decision can be harnessed at the polls and to what extent that energy can overcome voters’ economic worries. Democrats are in a historically unfavourable position as the party in control of the White House and facing growing concerns about inflation and the rest of the economy.

While this is happening, Republicans are mostly concentrating on people’s worries about the economy, inflation, and crime. Some of the most draconian abortion restrictions that have been put into place after last summer’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling are being disavowed by these individuals.

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In August, voters in the red state of Kansas soundly rejected a ballot measure that would have included language asserting that the state constitution does not provide provisions for abortion rights, giving proponents of the procedure a significant and largely unanticipated victory. But that was only a little over a month after the Dobbs judgement had been made public.

This midterm election has the subject on the ballot in a number of additional states, including a pro-life measure in Montana and initiatives to specifically safeguard abortion rights in the state constitutions of California and Vermont.

Since Roe was overturned, the issue of abortion has been left up to the individual states, making state legislators and governors crucial players in formulating the laws and policies that govern the practise.

Particularly in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Kansas, where Democratic governors have resisted attempts to enact stringent abortion legislation, gubernatorial races with mixed-party control will be crucial.

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National legislation on the subject is desired by proponents on both sides of the abortion controversy.

Supporters of abortion rights have been working to have the Women’s Health Protection Act passed, which would formalise Roe’s safeguards in federal law. The House approved the legislation last year in a mostly symbolic vote, but it lacked the necessary support to end the Senate filibuster.

Gun Policy

Going into the 2022 midterm elections, many voters’ top concern continues to be gun regulation in the wake of numerous mass shootings this year and in years past. The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was passed by federal lawmakers back in June, still has several gaps that the states are free to fix with their own restrictions, or not.

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The majority of states won’t be voting on gun reform in 2022. Certainly not directly. For instance, voters will choose between incumbent Governor Greg Abbott (R) and his Democratic opponent, Beto O’Rourke, in Texas, the state where the third-deadliest school massacre in history occurred earlier this year. O’Rourke has promised to overturn the permitless carry law if he wins, while Abbott has drawn criticism for his views on gun ownership.

For the majority of voters, decisions on firearms will be less evident, but in two particular states, the options will be directly on the ballot.

Iowa – If adopted, Iowa Amendment 1, also referred to as the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Amendment, would change the state’s constitution to include a clause that specifically states that “any and all restrictions” on gun ownership will be “subject to strict scrutiny” by a court. Republican State Rep. Steven Holt is the amendment’s sponsor. He and the amendment’s backers contend that enshrining the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the freedom to keep and bear weapons would safeguard gun owners in Iowa and be consistent with it.

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Oregon – Initiative 17, also known as the Reduction of Gun Violence Act, would make it necessary for those looking to buy guns to first obtain permits. The idea would also forbid ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds and mandate that police keep a database of all licences and weapons.

Voting rights and election integrity

Voters are anxious about the election process this year. In CNN’s September/October poll, 85% of registered voters said “voting rights and election integrity” were at least very important to their vote, with 61% saying they were extremely essential. In contrast to a smaller 47% of independents, both 70% of Democrats and 64% of Republicans rated the issue as extremely important.

According to a Pew Research survey conducted on October, 7 in 10 registered voters said that “the future of democracy in the country” and “policies about how elections and voting work in the country” will be very important factors in their voting decisions this year. In each case, this included a majority of both Democratic and Republican supporters.

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However, the way an issue is presented might affect the level of concern. According to the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey, “preserving democracy” was chosen as the election issue that was most important to 28% of registered voters, including 42% of Democrats. Only 9% of potential voters, including 15% of Democrats, identified “voting rights and election integrity” as their top concern in the most recent CNN poll.

Voters’ concerns are motivated by a variety of factors. According to a poll conducted by Fox News, 37% of respondents indicated they were very anxious about candidates and their supporters rejecting the results of the election, while 32% were very concerned about voter fraud.

In a New York Times/Siena poll from October, about three-quarters (74%) of potential voters indicated they thought American democracy was currently in danger, but when asked to describe the problem, they disagreed. Others expressed general worries about corruption or the government as a whole (13%), while some named specific politicians, most notably former President Donald Trump (10%) and President Joe Biden (6%).

In a CNN poll conducted in September and October, 43% of registered voters said the Democratic congressional candidates in their area were better described by the term “working to protect democracy,” while 36% said the same about the Republican candidates. Voters in the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll believed that the Democratic Party would deal with “preserving democracy” better than the Republican Party, 44% to 37%.

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The role of immigration as a political issue has become more divisive. In a CNN poll conducted in September and October, 44% of registered voters ranked immigration’s importance as being on par with their pre-midterm election concerns. However, the difference between Republican and Democratic voters in their likelihood to view immigration as extremely essential increased from 17 to 35 percentage points since 2014.

Which party enjoys greater public support for handling immigration-related issues also reflects this partisan dynamic: Voters in the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey feel that the GOP would handle immigration better than the Democratic Party by a margin of 14 points. According to the Fox poll, respondents prefer the GOP to the Democrats by a margin of 21 points, making border security the GOP’s greatest topic by a wide margin.

However, with Republicans predominately concentrating on the economy, immigration isn’t at the top of many voters’ concerns this election year. Only 9% of Republican voters and 4% of Democratic voters named it their top concern in the most recent CNN survey.

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Climate Change

A lot is on the line in the midterm elections. The outcome of the federal elections will determine who controls the House and the Senate, as well as how the federal government will proceed with issues like abortion rights and gun regulation in the future.

But when it comes to climate policy, it’s important to focus on the high-stakes municipal contests that will determine how the nation approaches the problem in the future. The federal government approved hundreds of billions of dollars in financing to combat climate change in Joe Biden’s first two years in office. States will be in charge of spending a large portion of that money as well as developing the local regulatory frameworks essential for the success of technologies that reduce emissions and use renewable energy.

How far the United States can advance on climate change will be determined by the thirty-dozen campaigns for governor, a third of which are in battleground states. According to Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, “the only place the rubber meets the road is in the states; the only place things get built is in the states. So to decarbonize our economy, we need renewed efforts in the states.”

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The issue of crime has gained more prominence in the US midterm elections. That seems reasonable given that the homicide rate in the country reached its highest level since the 1990s in 2020 after increasing by an estimated 31% in 2020 and another 3% in 2021. Homicide is the most serious and consistently measured crime.

Murder rates are still very high even if they are down 5% so far this year in the 91 cities that crime analysts Jeff Asher and Ben Horwitz are monitoring. Federal Bureau of Investigation records show that overall violent crime did not increase in 2020 in the same way as murder did and that property crime appears to have decreased.

However, those FBI numbers are hardly comprehensive, and the pandemic also had a negative impact on other crimes that, according to local data from several cities, may be on the rise this year.

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Other issues

The polling also highlights a few concerns that aren’t getting as much attention from the general public this year. Coronavirus is one of them; in the most recent CBS News/YouGov poll, just 27% of prospective voters said it was very important to their decision to vote, but that number rose to 44% among Democrats.

Despite this year’s significant climate change legislation, only 38% of registered voters said it was extremely important to their vote, placing it last among the seven issues CNN asked about in the September/October poll. However, Democrats (60% of them) and voters under the age of 35 (46% of them) felt strongly about the issue.

And only a small portion of voters are really concerned about the conflict in Ukraine; according to Fox’s poll, only 34% of registered voters said they were very concerned about Russia’s invasion of the nation.