2022 Midterm Elections: Democrats See Early Edge in Senate Map

2022 Midterm Elections: Democrats See Early Edge in Senate Map

Six months into the Biden administration, Senate Democrats are expressing a cautious optimism that the party can keep control of the chamber in the 2022 midterm elections, enjoying large fund-raising hauls in marquee races as they plot to exploit Republican retirements in key battlegrounds and a divisive series of unsettled G.O.P. primaries.

Swing-state Democratic incumbents, like Senators Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Mark Kelly of Arizona, restocked their war chests with multimillion-dollar sums ($7.2 million and $6 million, respectively), according to new financial filings this week. That gives them an early financial head start in two key states where Republicans’ disagreements over former President Donald J. Trump’s refusal to accept his loss in 2020 are threatening to distract and fracture the party.

But Democratic officials are all too aware of the foreboding political history they confront: that in a president’s first midterms, the party occupying the White House typically loses seats — often in bunches. For now, Democrats hold power by only the narrowest of margins in a 50-50 split Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tiebreaker to push through President Biden’s expansive agenda on the economy, the pandemic and infrastructure.

The midterms are still more than 15 months away, but the ability to enact new policy throughout Mr. Biden’s first term hinges heavily on his party’s ability to hold the Senate and House.

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