Democrats typically experience the harsh reality of American democracy, which is that a political party can garner more votes than the opposition without gaining significant influence.
Republicans received more votes this year, more than 3 million more for GOP House candidates, but they don’t have as much to show for it.
Democrats will hold a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate, where Republicans actually lost ground. Although a crucial check on the White House, the GOP majority in the House is small and dispersed across a wide enough ideological range that it will be challenging for Kevin McCarthy, or whoever finally succeeds McCarthy, to use the majority to take decisive action.
Simply put, Republicans gained the votes they required, just not in the areas where they were most needed. Charlie Cook, the founder of the Cook Political Report, stated in November that “clearly something or someone intervened, altering the outcome of the election in the locations that mattered.”
Cook suggested that the Republicans’ advantage should have given them 20–30 seats and a greater majority than the 222-212 lead they would have in the House in January. At the time, votes were still coming in from California and Washington, and the margins had shrunk. There will be a vacancy in the House.
Democrats only lost a net of nine seats, as opposed to suffering significant losses. They lost the majority in the House as a result, but President Joe Biden appeared more powerful as a result. Presidents typically lose a large number of House seats.
Poor statewide candidates who were distracted by personal matters and former President Donald Trump’s election fantasies have been blamed for the Republicans’ defeat in the Senate.
Republicans are unfamiliar with this emotion.
In recent years, the GOP has repeatedly gained more power while receiving fewer votes.
Trump won the White House in 2016 while George W. Bush won it in 2000 both with fewer votes than their Democratic rivals. When re-electing President Barack Obama in 2012, Democrats received far more votes than Republicans, but Republicans maintained control of the House.
Since the GOP gained seats in the House and the majority in the Senate in 2014, the 2022 midterm elections will be the first time Republican candidates have received more votes than Democrats.
narrow margins in the House and Senate following a close election
Not all residents of a congressional district are eligible to vote, and not all did.
According to the state’s senior election official, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, there was record-breaking midterm turnout in some states, including Georgia, which had closely contested Senate and governorship races.
In states like California, where statewide races were not as closely contested, the turnout was lower. The California Secretary of State’s office estimates a voter turnout of 50.8%, which is significantly lower than the more than 64% turnout it reported in the most recent midterm election in 2018 but higher than the 42% turnout in 2014.