Category2022 elections

Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) are running in the runoff for U.S. Senate in Georgia

Incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) are running in the runoff election for U.S. Senate in Georgia on December 6, 2022.

Warnock and Walker were the top-two vote-getters in the November 8, 2022, general election, with Warnock winning 49.4% of the vote to Walker’s 48.5%. Libertarian Chase Oliver won 2.1% of the vote and did not advance to the runoff. In Georgia, a general election advances to a runoff between the two top finishers if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.

This is the second Georgia Senate election in a row to go to a runoff. In 2020, Georgia held two elections for the U.S. Senate. In the regular election, incumbent U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R) and Jon Ossoff (D) advanced to a runoff after neither received the votes to win the general election outright. In the special election to replace U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R), Warnock and incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R)—whom Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed to fill the vacancy created when Isakson retired—advanced to a runoff for the same reason. The runoffs took place on January 5, 2021.

Warnock defeated Loeffler in the runoff and Ossoff defeated Perdue, giving Democrats an effective majority in the U.S. Senate (the partisan split following the runoffs was 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris (D) casting tie-breaking votes).

Unlike the 2021 runoffs, the 2022 runoff will not determine control of the U.S. Senate. Democrats won 50 Senate seats in the November 8 general election, enough to maintain effective control of the chamber. If Warnock wins, Democrats would expand their majority to 51.

Before assuming office, Warnock served as the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also served as pastor. Warnock’s campaign said, “As the 18th most bipartisan Senator, Reverend Warnock successfully negotiated investments for Georgia businesses to grow jobs in state and end our reliance on foreign countries like China, capped the cost of insulin for seniors to $35 a month, fought to keep open the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center, and took on the shipping companies and big corporations making record prices while increasing costs for Georgians.”

Walker is a businessman and a Hall of Fame professional football player who represented the U.S. in the 1992 Olympics. Walker’s campaign said, “Herschel Walker is fully prepared to lower taxes and curb inflation, back law enforcement and fight back against crime. He will secure our border from drugs and illegal immigrants and take men out of women’s sports.”

As a result of a change in Georgia state law, the 2022 runoffs will take place on December 6, not January 5. On March 25, 2021, Gov. Kemp signed Senate Bill 202, which shortened the time between a general election and a runoff from nine weeks to 28 days.

As of November 22, the U.S. Senate election in Georgia ranked as the second most expensive Senate election in 2022 and the fourth most expensive Senate race ever. According to data from Open Secrets, candidate campaign committees and satellite spending groups had spent $307 million in the race.

Including the 2021 runoffs, four Senate runoffs have taken place in Georgia. The first Senate runoff occurred in 1992. Incumbent Wyche Fowler (D) lost to Paul Coverdell (R) in that election.  In 2008, incumbent Saxby Chambliss (R) won re-election after defeating Jim Martin (D) in a runoff.



Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) are running in the runoff for U.S. Senate in Georgia

Incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) are running in the runoff election for U.S. Senate in Georgia on December 6, 2022.

Warnock and Walker were the top-two vote-getters in the November 8, 2022, general election, with Warnock winning 49.4% of the vote to Walker’s 48.5%. Libertarian Chase Oliver won 2.1% of the vote and did not advance to the runoff. In Georgia, a general election advances to a runoff between the two top finishers if no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.

This is the second Georgia Senate election in a row to go to a runoff. In 2020, Georgia held two elections for the U.S. Senate. In the regular election, incumbent U.S. Sen. David Perdue (R) and Jon Ossoff (D) advanced to a runoff after neither received the votes to win the general election outright. In the special election to replace U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R), Warnock and incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R)—whom Gov. Brian Kemp (R) appointed to fill the vacancy created when Isakson retired—advanced to a runoff for the same reason. The runoffs took place on January 5, 2021.

Warnock defeated Loeffler in the runoff and Ossoff defeated Perdue, giving Democrats an effective majority in the U.S. Senate (the partisan split following the runoffs was 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris (D) casting tie-breaking votes).

Unlike the 2021 runoffs, the 2022 runoff will not determine control of the U.S. Senate. Democrats won 50 Senate seats in the November 8 general election, enough to maintain effective control of the chamber. If Warnock wins, Democrats would expand their majority to 51.

Before assuming office, Warnock served as the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. also served as pastor. Warnock’s campaign said, “As the 18th most bipartisan Senator, Reverend Warnock successfully negotiated investments for Georgia businesses to grow jobs in state and end our reliance on foreign countries like China, capped the cost of insulin for seniors to $35 a month, fought to keep open the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center, and took on the shipping companies and big corporations making record prices while increasing costs for Georgians.”

Walker is a businessman and a Hall of Fame professional football player who represented the U.S. in the 1992 Olympics. Walker’s campaign said, “Herschel Walker is fully prepared to lower taxes and curb inflation, back law enforcement and fight back against crime. He will secure our border from drugs and illegal immigrants and take men out of women’s sports.”

As a result of a change in Georgia state law, the 2022 runoffs will take place on December 6, not January 5. On March 25, 2021, Gov. Kemp signed Senate Bill 202, which shortened the time between a general election and a runoff from nine weeks to 28 days.

As of November 22, the U.S. Senate election in Georgia ranked as the second most expensive Senate election in 2022 and the fourth most expensive Senate race ever. According to data from Open Secrets, candidate campaign committees and satellite spending groups had spent $307 million in the race.

Including the 2021 runoffs, four Senate runoffs have taken place in Georgia. The first Senate runoff occurred in 1992. Incumbent Wyche Fowler (D) lost to Paul Coverdell (R) in that election.  In 2008, incumbent Saxby Chambliss (R) won re-election after defeating Jim Martin (D) in a runoff.



Incumbent Doug La Follette (D) elected to 12th term as Wisconsin secretary of state

Incumbent Doug La Follette (D) defeated Amy Loudenbeck (R), Neil Harmon (L), and Sharyl McFarland (G) in the election for Wisconsin secretary of state on Nov. 8, 2022. County canvass results published by the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Nov. 21 showed that La Follette had received 7,442 votes more than Loudenbeck, a 0.3 percentage point margin. Loudenbeck did not request a recount—an option due to the close margin—and conceded on Nov. 21.

La Follette’s new term beginning in 2023 will be his 12th term in office.

Duties of the Wisconsin secretary of state include recording the official acts of the governor and the executive department, compiling and keeping laws and resolutions adopted by the legislature, having custody of the state’s records, and authenticating certain documents. According to Wisconsin Public Radio’s Shawn Johnson, “[M]ost of the office’s responsibilities have been outsourced to other state agencies that answer to the governor.”

The responsibilities of the office were a central issue in this race, particularly concerning election administration. Wisconsin is one of five states where the secretary of state has no election-related duties. The legislature transferred election administration responsibilities from the secretary of state to a nonpartisan elections board in 1974. Since 2016, the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission has overseen the state’s election administration. La Follette and Loudenbeck disagreed about whether the secretary of state should have a role in the state’s election system.

La Follette was first elected secretary of state in 1974 and served one term before an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor in 1978. He was elected secretary of state a second time in 1982 and has since served 10 consecutive terms. La Follette said that maintaining the state’s independent election system was “[t]he critical issue in this campaign for Secretary of State.” He said, “The state of Wisconsin has been a pivotal battleground in several of the past presidential elections. … For this reason, it’s more important than ever that we elect a Secretary of State that will defend our democracy over party. As America’s longest-serving incumbent Secretary of State, I have the track record and deep well of experience to do it.” La Follette also said he wanted the secretary of state’s office to again have responsibility for business-related functions.

Loudenbeck was first elected to represent District 31 in the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2010. Her campaign website stated, “The Secretary of State’s office has fallen into disrepair and disfavor thanks to the neglect of Democrat Doug La Follette who has been in that office for forty-four years.” Loudenbeck said, “[M]y goal would be to modernize the office, to be responsive to requests for authentication of documents, to be a billion dollar board member for the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands and actively engage in the role that currently exists for the secretary of state that I see as being neglected right now.” Loudenbeck said she would advocate for abolishing the Wisconsin Elections Commission and moving election administration duties such as training, guidance, voter roll maintenance, and voter outreach to the secretary of state’s office.

In 2018, Democrats gained a state government triplex in Wisconsin when Democratic candidates defeated Republican incumbents in the elections for governor and attorney general, and La Follette was re-elected. All three offices were up for election again in 2022, and each Democratic incumbent was re-elected.

This was one of 27 secretary of state elections held in 2022.



Incumbent Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) defeated Audrey Mendonca-Trujillo (R) and Mayna Myers (L) in the general election for New Mexico Secretary of State on November 8, 2022

Incumbent Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) defeated Audrey Mendonca-Trujillo (R) and Mayna Myers (L) in the general election for New Mexico Secretary of State on November 8, 2022.

Toulouse Oliver was first elected to this position in 2016. According to The Albequerque Journal, her campaign focused on “voter accessibility, campaign finance transparency, and fighting election disinformation.”

Mendonca-Trujillo, whose campaign was endorsed by former President Donald Trump (R), focused on what she called election integrity and said, “The core of a strong nation is free and fair elections, which we don’t have anymore — Republican or Democrat.”

This was one of 27 elections for secretary of state taking place in 2022. Click here for an overview of these races. All but three states have a secretary of state. Although the specific duties and powers of the office vary from state to state, secretaries of state are often responsible for the maintenance of voter rolls and for administering elections. Other common responsibilities include registering businesses, maintaining state records, and certifying official documents. At the time of the 2022 elections, there were 27 Republican secretaries of state and 20 Democratic secretaries of state.

A state government triplex refers to a situation where the governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all members of the same political party. Heading into the 2022 elections, there were 23 Republican triplexes, 18 Democratic triplexes, and nine divided governments where neither party held triplex control.

New Mexico is a Democratic triplex.



Seth Magaziner (D) defeated Allan Fung (R) and Bill Gilbert (I) in the general election to represent Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District

Seth Magaziner (D) defeated Allan Fung (R) and Bill Gilbert (I) in the general election to represent Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives on November 8, 2022. Incumbent Jim Langevin (D) announced on January 18, 2022, that he would not seek reelection after eleven consecutive terms in office, creating an open seat.

According to The Providence Journal, “The unusually competitive race has been a nail-biter for Democrats, who came close to losing a seat that they have held for over 30 years. In the lead-up to the election, national outlets such as the New York TimesWashington Post and Wall Street Journal highlighted Fung’s lead in the polls, suggesting that it was emblematic of the gains that Republicans stood to make in [the] year’s midterm elections…Fung, well known from his 11 years as mayor of Cranston and past campaigns for governor, focused almost exclusively on inflation, especially high energy prices. Magaziner, the two-term state treasurer, argued that electing Fung would help Republicans gain control of Congress. The main point of disagreement between the two candidates boiled down to whether Fung could accurately be called a ‘moderate’ and if he’d vote in lockstep with the rest of his party…”

The outcome of this race affected the partisan balance of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 118th Congress. All 435 House districts were up for election.

Daily Kos calculated what the results of the 2020 presidential election in this district would have been following redistricting. Joe Biden (D) would have received 56.1% of the vote in this district and Donald Trump (R) would have received 42.4%.



Seven new U.S. senators and 77 new U.S. representatives won election to the 118th Congress

As of November 16, 2022, 84 new members have won election to the 118th Congress, including seven U.S. senators and 77 U.S. representatives. For comparison, 71 new members were elected to Congress in the 2020 election and subsequent runoffs, including nine U.S. senators and 62 U.S. representatives. 102 new members were elected to Congress in the 2018 election and subsequent runoffs, including nine U.S. senators and 93 U.S. representatives.

All seven new U.S. senators elected in 2022—one Democrat and six Republicans—replaced retiring incumbents from the same party. Twenty-four of the new U.S. representatives elected in 2022—12 Democrats and 12 Republicans—replaced 16 Democratic incumbents and eight Republican incumbents who either announced they would not seek re-election in 2022, withdrew from their races, or passed away while in office. 

Eighteen of the new U.S. representatives elected in 2022—eight Democrats and ten Republicans—replaced ten Democratic incumbents and eight Republican incumbents who ran for other offices instead of running for reelection. 

Due to redistricting, 14 incumbent U.S. representatives—eight Democrats and six Republicans—sought re-election in different congressional districts in 2022 than they represented in 2020. In addition, five of the seven new congressional districts created during the reapportionment process after the 2020 U.S. Census resulted in the election of new members. To fill these 19 seats, nine Democrats and eight Republicans were elected in 2022. As of November 16, 2022, two races that may result in new members of Congress due to redistricting remain uncalled.

16 incumbents—six Democrats and ten Republicans—lost their races for re-election in 2022 in either the primary or general election. Six Democrats and ten Republicans were elected to fill these seats. 



Democrats gain three trifectas, Republicans lose one in 2022 elections

As a result of the 2022 elections, there will be at least 22 Republican trifectas, 17 Democratic trifectas, and 10 divided governments where neither party had trifecta control. Alaska’s trifecta status remains unclear. Before the election, Alaska was under divided government.

State government trifecta is a term to describe single-party government, when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature.

Trifecta status changed in six states. In Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota, divided governments became Democratic trifectas. In Nevada, the Democratic trifecta became a divided government. In Arizona, the Republican trifecta became a divided government.

The Democratic gains and Republican loss were the first for each party since the 2019 general elections, when Kentucky went from a Republican trifecta to divided government and Virginia went from divided government to Democratic trifecta.

At the time of the 2022 election, there were 23 Republican trifectas, 14 Democratic trifectas, and 13 divided governments where neither party held trifecta control.



Three states to have veto-proof legislative majority and governor of the opposing party

2022-Veto-Proof

Two of four states heading into the 2022 elections that had a veto-proof legislative majority and governor of the opposing party—Kentucky and Kansas—maintained that status after the elections. Vermont became a state with a veto-proof legislative majority and opposing-party governor as a result of the 2022 elections.

Maryland and Massachusetts will no longer have a veto-proof legislative majority and governor of the opposing party since the party that held a veto-proof majority also gained control of the governor’s office in the 2022 elections.

State governors may veto bills advanced by the state legislature. With sufficient support—between one-half and two-thirds of sitting legislators, depending on the state—state legislatures may overturn a gubernatorial veto. When one party controls enough seats to overturn a veto without support from the other party, a legislature can hold a veto-proof majority.

Heading into the 2022 elections, four states had a governor of one party and a veto-proof state legislative majority of the opposing party: Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Three states—North Carolina, Vermont, and Wisconsin—could have switched to having a veto-proof majority and an opposing party governor due to the 2022 elections.

  1. In Kentucky, Republicans maintained their veto-proof majority in both chambers of the state legislature. Gov. Andy Beshear (D) is not up for re-election until 2023.
  2. In Kansas, Governor Laura Kelly (D) won re-election. Republicans maintained their veto-proof majority in the state Senate since that chamber did not hold regular elections. Republicans also won at least two-thirds of the seats in the state House of Representatives.
  3. In Maryland, Democrats won the governorship while maintaining their veto-proof state legislative majority and became a Democratic trifecta. Wes Moore (D) won the Maryland gubernatorial election. Incumbent Larry Hogan (R) was term-limited.
  4. In Massachusetts, Democrats won the governorship while maintaining their veto-proof state legislative majority and became a Democratic trifecta. Maura Healey (D) won the Massachusetts gubernatorial election. Incumbent Charlie Baker (R) did not run for re-election.
  5. In Vermont, Democrats gained a veto-proof majority in the state legislature and Phil Scott (R) was re-elected governor.

Two states could have gained a veto-proof legislative majority with an opposing party governor in 2022.

  1. In North Carolina, Republicans gained a three-fifths majority in the state Senate. The final margin of the Republican majority in the North Carolina House of Representatives has not yet been determined. North Carolina holds gubernatorial elections in presidential election years, so Gov. Roy Cooper (D) was not up for re-election.
  2. In Wisconsin, Republicans gained a two-thirds majority in the state Senate but fell at least two seats short of a two-thirds majority in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Incumbent Gov. Tony Evers (D) won re-election.

Four states with a governor of one party and a veto-proof state legislature of the opposing party—Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, and Massachusetts—maintained that status after the 2020 elections. None of those four states held gubernatorial elections that year. Five states could have switched to having a veto-proof state legislature and an opposing party governor because of the 2020 elections but none of them achieved the sufficient legislative majorities to achieve that status.

Additional reading:

https://ballotpedia.org/Supermajority

https://ballotpedia.org/Veto-proof_state_legislatures_and_opposing_party_governors_in_the_2020_elections



Voters addressed 132 statewide ballot measures on Nov. 8

On Nov. 8, voters in 37 states decided on 132 statewide ballot measures. As of Nov. 14, voters approved 87 (66%) and defeated 38 (29%). Seven (5%) remained uncalled; five were leaning ‘No’ and two were leaning ‘Yes.’

In 2020, 120 measures were on the ballot in November. Voters approved 88 (73%) and defeated 32 (27%). From 2010 to 2020, 67% of statewide ballot measures were approved. 

The following are the results for measures addressing a selection of topics.

Abortion: Voters in five states decided on measures related to abortion. Campaigns that described themselves as pro-choice or pro-reproductive rights were successful on each measure. In California, Michigan, and Vermont, voters approved amendments to provide state constitutional rights to abortion. In Kentucky, voters rejected an amendment designed to provide that the state constitution cannot be interpreted to establish a state constitutional right to abortion. In Montana, a measure called the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act was also defeated. 

Marijuana: Measures to legalize marijuana were on the ballot in five states. Two—Maryland and Missouri—approved legalization measures. Three— Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota—rejected citizen-initiated measures. North and South Dakota have voted on marijuana legalization before. In 2018, voters in North Dakota rejected a measure. In 2020, voters in South Dakota approved a measure with 54%; however, the state Supreme Court struck down the measure. Including Maryland and Missouri, 21 states have passed laws to legalize marijuana, including 14 that did so via ballot measure.

Income Taxes: Voters decided on state income tax ballot measures in four states. In California, voters rejected an initiative to enact a 1.75% tax on personal income above $2 million and allocate revenue toward zero-emissions vehicles and wildfire programs. In Massachusetts, voters approved an amendment to enact a 4% tax on income above $1 million and allocate revenue toward education and transportation purposes. Voters in Colorado decided on two income tax-related measures, both of which were approved. Colorado Proposition 121 reduced the state’s flat income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.40%. Colorado Proposition FF reduced income tax deductions and allocates increased revenue to a program for free school meals and local school food grants. In Idaho, voters approved a non-binding question asking about a bill to establish a flat income and corporate tax structure.

Firearms: In Oregon, voters approved an initiative, Measure 114, to require people to obtain a law enforcement-issued permit to purchase a firearm. Under Measure 114, obtaining a permit requires a photo ID, fingerprints, safety training, criminal background check, and fee payment. Measure 114 also prohibited ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. In Iowa, voters approved an amendment adding a right to own and bear firearms to the Iowa Constitution. The amendment also provided that “restrictions of this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”

RCV: Nevada Question 3, which would enact a top-five ranked-choice voting system, was approved. In Nevada, initiated constitutional amendments need to be approved at two successive general elections. As Question 3 was approved this year, the initiative must be approved for a second time on Nov. 5, 2024. At least nine local jurisdictions voted on RCV measures. Measures were approved in six jurisdictions – Ojai, CA; Fort Collins, CO; Evanston, IL; Portland, ME; Multnomah County, OR; and Portland, OR. Measures were defeated in two jurisdictions – Clark County and San Juan County, WA. In Seattle, voters decided on a competing measure between approval voting and RCV. The measure is too close to call as of Nov. 14, with 50.35% voting “Either” and 49.65% voting “Neither.” Should “Either” prevail, the system receiving the most votes would be enacted; RCV received 75% and approval voting received 25%. 

Other Voting Policies: Voters decided on changes to voting-related policies in six states, including Nevada. In Nebraska, voters approved an initiative to require photo identification to vote. In Connecticut, an amendment to allow for early voting was approved. Voters in Ohio approved a constitutional amendment to prohibit local governments from allowing non-citizens to vote. In Michigan, voters approved Proposal 2, which added several new and existing election policies to the state constitution. One measure, in Arizona, remained uncalled. As of Nov. 14, Arizona Proposition 309 received 49.5% of the vote. This measure would require dates of birth and voter identification numbers for mail-in ballots and eliminate the two-document alternative to photo ID for in-person voting. 

Nov. 8 wasn’t the last state ballot measure election of 2022. On Dec. 10, voters in Louisiana will decide on three constitutional amendments, including an amendment, similar to Ohio’s, to prohibit local governments from allowing non-citizens to vote. The other two amendments would require Senate confirmation for appointees to the State Civil Service Commission and State Police Commission.

Earlier in 2022, voters in four states decided on five ballot measures. Voters approved three and rejected two of these measures.



U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D) defeats U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores (R) in TX-34

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez Jr. (D) defeated U.S. Rep. Mayra Flores (R) in the general election for Texas’ 34th Congressional District on Nov. 8, 2022. This election was one of two U.S. House races in which two incumbents faced off in the general election.

Texas’ congressional district boundaries were redrawn after the 2020 census. According to data from Daily Kos, voters in the redrawn 34th District backed Joe Biden (D) over Donald Trump (R) 57.3% to 41.8% in the 2020 presidential election.

Gonzalez was first elected to represent Texas’ 15th Congressional District in 2016. Gonzalez’s campaign website said, “Vicente has stood by our promise to veterans, helping constituents cut through red tape at the VA and working across the aisle to prevent the shameful deportation of our honorably discharged veterans. He’s working to lower prescription drug prices, protect the benefits and healthcare of seniors, and ensure that jobs and opportunities are there for all with the ganas to work. … As a Congressman, he is delivering billions to support our schools, families, and small businesses and continues helping South Texans recover the federal benefits they are owed.”

Flores was elected to represent the old 34th district in a June 2022 special election to fill the seat vacated by Rep. Filemon Vela (D). Flores’ campaign website stated, “As the first Mexican-born woman to serve in Congress, I am fighting for opportunity and security for all those living in our amazing district. Our America First policies resonate with the Hispanic community and others who live in this district. For over 100 years, the Democrat Party has taken for granted the loyalty and support South Texas has given them for decades. But they do nothing to earn our vote or our support. And meanwhile, President Biden is killing Texas jobs, weakening border security, and weakening our standing in the world. Enough is enough.”

The Texas Tribune‘s Matthew Choi described the race as “a high-drama, multi-month affair of desperate pleas, dashed hopes and political gamesmanship that highlighted the stakes of when national forces come into play in a hyperlocal race.”

According to Insider‘s Hanna Kang and Dorothy Cucci, “As of early November, several dozen super PACs, national party committees, politically active nonprofits, and other non-candidate groups … together spent about $10.9 million to advocate for or against candidates in this race, including during the race’s primary phase. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a national Republican hybrid PAC that backs Flores, alone [accounted] for nearly half that spending.”

All 435 House districts were up for election on Nov. 8.