On Tuesday, Nov. 8, American citizens flocked to local township polling sites in order to vote in this year’s midterm elections. In addition, several states, including New Jersey, provided mail-in ballots and early in-person voting to allow for greater flexibility.
On the national ballot were all 435 members of the House of Representatives and 35 members of the Senate. Gubernatorial elections also took place in 36 states, while school boards, sheriffs, and county officials were elected by individual townships. Additionally, several states voted on ballot measures.
As of Nov. 23, results for the three major categories of the election — the House of Representatives, Senate, and governors’ races — are still rolling in, over two weeks after Election Day. However, the broader outcomes of the election have become clear.
The Republican Party took control of the House of Representatives, winning at least 218 seats, according to the Associated Press. The Democratic Party lost nine seats and currently stands at 212 seats, while the last five districts are still tallying votes. The Senate is still under Democratic control, with no change in the status quo.
Democratic nominees won 50 Senate seats, while Republican candidates won 49. The last office in Georgia will be decided by a December runoff election between the current senator, Democrat Raphael Warnock, and Republican Herschel Walker. If Warnock wins, Democrats will have an absolute majority; if Walker wins, United States Vice President Kamala Harris will serve as a tiebreaker.
Gubernatorial results were also almost evenly divided — Republican candidates won or possess 25 seats and are projected to win in Alaska, while Democrats will occupy governors’ mansions in 24 states. In New Jersey, neither gubernatorial or Senate elections were held this year. However, all of the state’s 12 House seats were on the ballot.
In 2020, Democratic candidates won 10 of these seats. The districts that include Newark, New Jersey’s Eighth and 10th Congressional Districts, were rated as D+27 and D+36 respectively by the polling website FiveThirtyEight, indicating a favorability margin of 27 and 36 points for Democratic candidates. This year, incumbent representatives Robert Menendez of the Eighth District and Donald Payne Jr. from the 10th District won handily, with 73.6% and 77.6% of the vote respectively.
This year, however, Democrats snagged nine New Jersey seats, with Republican Tom Kean Jr. winning in New Jersey’s Seventh Congressional District and adding to two previous Republican seats. The following is a list of New Jersey’s Representatives-elect, with the letter in parentheses indicating their party affiliation.
NJ 1 – Donald Norcross (D)
NJ 2 – Jeff Van Drew (R)
NJ 3 – Andy Kim (D)
NJ 4 – Christopher Smith (R)
NJ 5 – Josh Gottheimer (D)
NJ 6 – Frank Pallone (D)
NJ 7 – Thomas Kean Jr. (R)
NJ 8 – Robert Menendez (D)
NJ 9 – Bill Pascrell (D)
NJ 10 – Donald Payne Jr. (D)
NJ 11 – Mikie Sherilll (D)
NJ 12 – Bonnie Watson Coleman (D)
Entering a zip code at https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative will return the Representative for the respective area.
Turnout for the midterm election was high; the Washington Post estimates that 47% of eligible voters cast a ballot, just below the 49% voter turnout rate seen during the 2018 election. For most of the 2000s and 2010s, this figure hovered around 40%.
Polling centers such as FiveThirtyEight theorize that factors including concerns about abortion access, inflation, and state laws making voting easier contributed to these results. Pew Research found, however, that a majority of adults in the United States held unfavorable views of both major parties. At the same time, negative views of the opposite party were almost universal among voters registered with a particular party.
Exit polls organized by Edison Research found that the voter group of 18 to 29 years old, composed of Generation Z and young Millennials, favored the Democratic Party by a margin of 28 points. Amongst men and women aged 18 to 29, the margin favoring Democrats crossed 10 and 45 points, respectively. The male age group of 18 to 29 years was the only one to favor Democrats.
In many ways, this election was groundbreaking. According to National Public Radio, 340 openly LGBTQ+ candidates won their elections, a slight increase from the 336 elected in 2020. The nation also elected its first openly lesbian governors — Maura Healy in Massachusetts and Tina Kotek in Oregon — and the first transgender man to win state office, James Roesene, in New Hampshire.
As another unprecedented event, FiveThirtyEight reported that 60% of Americans had a candidate who denied the validity of the 2020 presidential election on the ballot. However, CBS News found that the majority of these individuals lost their races.
As the results of this election continue to arrive and the 118th United States Congress is sworn in next January, the only question remaining is whether elected officials will address the concerns of their constituents.