2022 Midterm Elections: Competing for a Gridlocked Congress 

2022 Midterm Elections: Competing for a Gridlocked Congress 

The November 2022 midterm elections are fewer than two months away, and Democrats and Republicans are both showing a fighting chance at taking over Congress. This election essentially determines if there’s anything else done during the last two years of President Joe Biden’s term. Democrats are trying to campaign on the Dobbs v. Jackson decision and their string of legislative victories this past summer, while Republicans are trying to show that the Biden administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress have only intensified inflation and caused a recession. 

However, this election is one of the most consequential because of the Jan. 6 investigation controlled by Democrats. If Democrats hold the House, they will most likely continue hearings. Republicans, on the other hand, promised hearings into the Department of Justice’s idea to raid Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort and to investigate Hunter Biden. Similarly, it could provide a preview of the 2024 presidential election through the results of the Senate. This is bound to be one of the tightest midterm elections in history, with a 10-12 seat advantage predicted for Republicans. 

Newark is split between the 8th and 10th districts. The 8th district was redrawn in the 2020 redistricting cycle to represent the northern part of Newark and surrounding areas. The 8th district has opened up due to the incumbent Democrat, Albio Sires, retiring. As a result, Democrat Robert Menendez will face housing inspector Republican Marcos Arroyo. The 10th district covers a large portion of Newark and the southern suburbs. The 10th district has the incumbent Democrat Donald Payne Jr. running against teacher Republican David Pinckney. Important issues this year include abortion and contraceptive rights, high inflation, a possible recession, higher crime rates, and gun control. 

Historically, the midterm elections are seen as a referendum on the president, and with Biden’s net-negative poll numbers, most election pundits would expect this election to be a “Red Wave.” 

However, this year might be different. With the Democrats’ recent legislative wins, the Dobbs v. Jackson decision earlier this year, and falling gas prices, Democrats have pulled two upset victories. This includes a special election in Alaska, where Democrat Mary Peltola won against Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III. In the second round of ranked-choice voting, she achieved 51.48% of the vote. Peltola will be the first Democrat to represent Alaska in the House of Representatives since 1972, the first-ever native to represent Alaska and the first-ever woman as well. She is also the first Democrat to win a statewide office in Alaska since Mark Begich in 2008. 

In other house districts, however, including some in New Jersey, a few contests are looking competitive, such as New Jersey’s 7th House District. Incumbent Democrat Tom Malinowski is running for re-election against Republican Tom Kean Jr. Other districts seem to generally have incumbents who are deemed “safe” by polling organizations such as the Cook Political Report due to large enough margins to fend off an upset. Regardless, every vote matters. 

If you are 17 years old, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of your county for at least 30 days you can register to vote; you must be 18 to vote. 

You can register to vote through two ways — with your driver’s license or non-driver state identification, or with the last four digits of your Social Security number. 

If you are a college student, you can register with either your parents’ or university’s address. Forms to register are available at elections.nj.gov. You may register online, in-person at a municipal clerk’s office or county commissioner of registration’s office (addresses listed on elections.nj.gov), or by mail postmarked before Oct. 8 to vote this November. 

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Pranav Anthapu

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