2022 elections see second-highest nationwide midterm voter turnout since 2002

Image of several stickers with the words "I voted"

The 2022 elections saw the second-highest midterm voter turnout since 2002, according to data compiled by the United States Election Project. The turnout rate in 2022 was 46.8%. Since 2002, the highest midterm turnout rate was in 2018, at 50.3%, and the lowest was in 2014, at 36.7%.

At the state level, Oregon had the highest voter turnout in 2022, at 61.51%. Tennessee had the lowest turnout, at 31.34%. See the chart below for turnout rates in each state.

Comparing 2022 turnout rates to 2018, the most recent midterm election, North Dakota saw the largest drop in turnout, going from 58.6% in 2018 to 42.9% in 2022. The largest increase was in South Carolina where turnout increased from 45.2% in 2018 to 54.2% in 2022.

Among the five states that saw the largest decrease in voter turnout, four states had Republican trifectas and one state had a Democratic trifecta at the time of the 2022 elections. North Dakota (-15.68%), Tennessee (-13.76%), Mississippi (-9.81%), and Alabama (-9.56%) had Republican trifectas. New Jersey (-11.64%) had a Democratic trifecta.

Of the five states that had the largest increase in voter turnout, three had Republican trifectas, one had a Democratic trifecta, and one had divided government. South Carolina (+9.04%), Indiana (+3.26%), and New Hampshire (+1.71%) had Republican trifectas. Hawaii (+1.76%) had a Democratic trifecta, and Pennsylvania (+3.28%) had a divided government.

See the charts below for the five largest decreases and increases in voter turnout between 2018 and 2022.

Additional reading:

Biden currently leads PredictIt’s 2024 presidential general election market

As of January 9, 2023, PredictIt’s 2024 presidential market shows incumbent Joe Biden (D) holding a lead at $0.34, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) at $0.31, and former President Donald Trump (R) at $0.16. No other candidate has more than a $0.10 share price. 

Trump is the only candidate of this group to have officially announced his presidential campaign.

The Democratic presidential primary market shows Biden leading the pack at $0.64. The only other candidate to have more than a $0.10 share price is California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) at $0.13.

DeSantis currently leads in the Republican presidential primary market at $0.44, followed by Trump at $0.28. No other candidate has more than a $0.10 share price. 

PredictIt is an online political futures market in which users purchase shares relating to the outcome of political events using real money. Each event, such as an election, has a number of contracts associated with it, each correlating to a different outcome. Services such as PredictIt can be used to gain insight into the outcome of elections. Due to action from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, PredictIt may halt trading on February 15, 2023.

Republicans increase control over state legislative districts overlapping with Pivot Counties and Reverse-Pivot Counties

After the 2022 elections, Republicans hold 540 (65.9%) state legislative seats overlapping a Pivot County, up from 507 (63.6%) after the 2020 elections. Democrats hold 280 state legislative seats (34.1%) overlapping a Pivot County, down from 290 (36.4%) after the 2020 elections. Pivot Counties are the 206 counties that voted for Barack Obama (D) in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections and Donald Trump (R) in the 2016 presidential election.

Reverse-Pivot Counties overlapped with 104 state legislative seats (32 state senate seats and 72 state house seats). Democrats won 63 seats (60.6%) and Republicans won 41 (39.4%). Following the 2020 elections, 58 Democratic legislators (61.1%) represented districts overlapping a Reverse-Pivot County and 37 Republican legislators (38.9%) represented districts overlapping a Reverse-Pivot County. Reverse-Pivot Counties are the six counties that voted for John McCain (R) in the 2008 presidential election, Mitt Romney (R) in the 2012 presidential election, and Hillary Clinton (D) in the 2016 presidential election.

In the 2020 presidential election, Donald Trump (R) won 181 Pivot Counties and Joe Biden (D) won 25 Pivot Counties. The counties that Trump won in 2020 are Retained Pivot Counties, while those that Biden won are Boomerang Pivot Counties.

94% of incumbents won re-election in 2022 general election

Ballotpedia covered all state and federal races on Nov. 8, 2022, as well as local elections in America’s 100 largest cities by population. In the 2022 general election, an average of 94% of incumbents nationwide won their re-election bids.

Comparatively, in the 2021 general election, 86% of incumbents nationwide won their re-election bids. In the 2020 November election, 93% of incumbents were successful.

  • The incumbent win rate remained at or above 90% in all but nine states: Alaska, California, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • The lowest overall incumbent win rate was in Virginia with 77%. Delaware, Massachusetts, and Mississippi were the only states to see a 100% incumbent win rate.
  • Congressional incumbents had a 98% win rate. Forty-one states had a 100% win rate in congressional races.
  • State-level incumbents had a 96% win rate. Six states had a 100% win rate in state-level races.
  • State legislative incumbents had a 96% average win rate.
  • Local-level incumbents had a 90% average win rate. Thirteen states had a 100% win rate in local-level races.
  • Local legislative incumbents saw an average incumbent win rate of 84%.

The analysis below includes data compiled by Ballotpedia on the 7,619 incumbents who ran for re-election on Nov. 8, 2022. Some races remain uncalled.

The table below shows the win rate for each state and office type:

The map below highlights each state based on its incumbent win rate:

Incumbent Sen. Rubio (R) Demings (D), and seven others running for U.S. Senate in Florida on Nov. 8

Incumbent Marco Rubio (R), Val Demings (D), and seven other candidates are running in the general election for U.S. Senate in Florida on November 8, 2022.

The Hill‘s Caroline Vakil said, “Florida’s Senate race is considered one of the most competitive this November.” In 2018, the last U.S. Senate race in the state before this one, Rick Scott (R) defeated incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D) by 0.2 percentage points. In 2016, incumbent Marco Rubio won re-election by a margin of 7.7 percentage points.

Rubio was first elected to the Senate in 2010 to replace retiring incumbent Mel Martinez (R). In the general election, Rubio defeated Kendrick B. Meek (D) and Gov. Charlie Crist (I). Rubio was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008, serving as majority leader from 2003 to 2006 and House speaker from 2006 to 2008. Rubio has emphasized his Senate career; according to his campaign website, “As a U.S. Senator, Marco has advanced commonsense, conservative ideas that address the issues Americans face.”

Demings has represented Florida’s 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House since 2017. During her time in Congress, Demings has served on the Committee on Homeland Security and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Prior to her time in office, Demings worked in law enforcement for nearly three decades. From 2007 to 2012, she served as the chief of police in Orlando, Florida. Demings said she is “running for U.S. Senate to fight for every Floridian to have that same opportunity to live the American Dream.”

Dennis Misigoy (L), Steven B. Grant, Tuan Nguyen, Uloma Ekpete, Edward A. Gray, Howard Knepper, and Moses Quiles are also running

The two most recent presidential elections in Florida were both decided by less than 4 percentage points. Incumbent President Donald Trump (R) won the state over Joe Biden (D) by 3.3 percentage points in 2020. Trump won the state over Hillary Clinton (D) in 2016 by 1.2 percentage points.

The outcome of this race will affect the partisan balance of the U.S. Senate. Thirty-five of 100 seats are up for election, including one special election. Democrats have an effective majority, with the chamber split 50-50 and Vice President Kamala Harris (D) having the tie-breaking vote. Fourteen seats held by Democrats and 21 seats held by Republicans are up for election in 2022.

Incumbent Gov. Walz (D), Jensen (R), four others running in Nov. 8 general election for Minnesota governor

Incumbent Gov. Tim Walz (D), Scott Jensen (R), and four other candidates are running in the general election on November 8, 2022, for governor of Minnesota.

Walz was first elected in 2018, defeating Jeff Johnson (R), 54% to 42%. Walz succeeded Mark Dayton (D), who served as governor from 2011 to 2019. Since 1990, Minnesota has had two Democratic governors, two Republican governors, and one governor who was elected as a member of the Reform Party.

Heading into the 2022 elections, Minnesota is one of 13 states with divided government and one of two states—along with Virginia—where partisan control of the state legislature is split between Democrats and Republicans. Since 1992, Minnesota has had divided government for 28 out of 30 years.

The two most recent presidential elections in Minnesota were decided by seven percentage points or less. In the 2020 election, President Joe Biden (D) won the state over then-incumbent President Donald Trump (R), 52% to 45%. In 2016, Hillary Clinton carried Minnesota with 46.4% of the vote to Trump’s (D) 44.9%. 

Thirty-six states are holding gubernatorial elections in 2022. Heading into the 2022 elections, there are 28 Republican governors and 22 Democratic governors. Of those states holding gubernatorial elections, 20 hav a Republican governor, and 16 states have a Democratic one. In 2022, eight governors—five Republicans and three Democrats—did not run for re-election, with seven of those not running due to term limits.

Minor party candidates include Steve Patterson (Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party of Minnesota), Hugh McTavish (Independence Party of Minnesota), James McCaskel (Legal Marijuana Now Party), and Gabrielle Prosser (Socialist Workers Party),

Minnesota is one of nine states where the lieutenant governor is chosen by each gubernatorial candidate before the primaries and runs on a single ticket in both the primary and general elections.

Additional reading:

Availability of voter files by state

Voter files are digital databases of information about registered voters that the federal government requires each state to maintain. States can legally sell voter file information to individuals or groups, and each state has developed its own guidelines regarding these sales. Prices range from $0 to $37,000. Additionally, the data included for sale and the individuals and groups allowed to purchase voter files varies from state to state. 

In a 2016 report, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission classified the availability of voter file information in each state as either open, mixed, or restricted, based on the type of individuals or group that were allowed to purchase the data.

As of August 2022, voter file data is available for purchase in every U.S. state and Washington, D.C. Thirty-one states have open availability, meaning they have no restrictions on the types of individuals and groups that can purchase their voter file data. Sixteen states have mixed availability, meaning certain types of individuals or groups can purchase information from voter file data that is unavailable to others. Four states have restricted availability, meaning only certain types of individuals or groups are allowed to purchase their voter file data.

The map below provides a summary of the availability of voter files and pricing for each state and Washington, D.C. as of August 2022.

The table below provides details about the availability of voter files in each state and Washington, D.C. as of August 2022. It lists the specific information that is included and excluded from voter file data purchases.

Nineteen candidates are running in the top-four primary for United States Senate in Alaska on August 16, 2022

Nineteen candidates are running in the top-four primary for United States Senate in Alaska on August 16, 2022. Incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) is running for re-election.

This is the first use of the top-four primary system for a U.S. Senate seat in Alaska since voters approved its use in November 2020. All candidates run in a single primary regardless of party affiliation. The four candidates to receive the most votes advance to the general election, where the winner is decided using ranked-choice voting. 

The 19 candidates include eight Republicans, three Democrats, one Libertarian, five independents, and two Alaskan Independence Party candidates.

FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver wrote that it’s likely that at least two Republican candidates and a Democratic one will advance to the general election following the primary. Four total candidates will advance.

As of July 2022, the candidates who reported raising funds for the election or had been named in public polling were:

  1. Murkowski, who was endorsed by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), fellow Alaska U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R), and Sens. Joe Manchin (D) and Kyrsten Sinema (D);
  2. Kelly Tshibaka (R), a former commissioner at the Alaska Department of Administration who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump (R) and the Alaska Republican Party;
  3. Patricia Chesbro (D), an educator from Palmer;
  4. Huhnkie Lee (I), a computer programmer and attorney;
  5. Shoshana Gungurstein (I), a businesswoman;
  6. Sean Thorne (L), a U.S. Army veteran;
  7. and Dustin Darden (Alaskan Independence Party), a maintenance worker and 2018 candidate for the Alaska House of Representatives.

Three election forecasters rate the general election Solid or Safe Republican.

Murkowski’s father, Frank Murkowski (R), held the Senate seat from 1980 to 2002, when he resigned to become governor of Alaska. After taking office, the elder Murkowski appointed his daughter to the U.S. Senate seat. In 2010, after losing the Republican nomination, Lisa Murkowski successfully ran for re-election as a write-in candidate. She is one of two U.S. Senators, alongside South Carolina’s Strom Thurmond in 1954, to have been elected as a write-in candidate.

Idaho voters will decide on an initiative to increase the state’s income and corporate tax rates for education funding in November

On July 22, the Idaho secretary of state announced that an initiative that would increase income tax and corporate tax rates to provide additional education funding had submitted the required number of signatures for the November ballot. 

Reclaim Idaho, the campaign behind the initiative, filed 95,269 signatures on May 2. In Idaho, the number of signatures required to qualify an initiated state statute for the ballot is 64,945, which is equal to 6% of the registered voters at the time of the state’s last general election. Idaho also has a distribution requirement that requires signatures from 6% of registered voters in 18 of the state’s 35 legislative districts. The secretary of state reported that Reclaim Idaho’s petition met the requirements in at least 19 legislative districts.

The initiative would amend state statute to increase the tax on income above $250,000 for individuals, trusts, and estates and above $500,000 for couples filing jointly to $16,097 plus 10.925%. The tax bracket would not be adjusted for inflation until 2025. The initiative would also increase the corporate income tax from 6% to 8%. The new tax brackets and tax rates would take effect on January 1, 2023.

The initiative would also establish the Quality Education Fund. Revenues from the increased taxes would be deposited into the fund. The initiative states that the funds should be appropriated by the state board of education. It would prohibit funds from being appropriated to pay the salaries of superintendents, principals, or other administrators. The initiative requires that the funds be distributed to public school districts and charter schools according to their share of the state’s average daily attendance during the previous school year.

Reclaim Idaho said, “Idaho voters will now have a chance to boost K-12 funding by $323 million a year in order to strengthen programs & secure better pay for teachers & support staff–all without a penny of new taxes for anyone making under $250,000 a year or any married couple making under $500,000 a year. Vote Yes on Prop 1!”

Reclaim Idaho previously sponsored an approved 2018 ballot initiative, Proposition 2, which expanded Medicaid eligibility.

The initiative is opposed by State Sen. Steven Thayn (R), who said the initiative is “based on a false assumption that money will improve education.”

Idaho voters will also be deciding on a constitutional amendment put on the ballot by the state legislature that would allow the president pro tempore of the state Senate and the speaker of the state House to convene a special session of the state legislature upon receiving a joint written request from 60% of the members of each chamber. Idaho is one of 14 states where only the governor can order a special session.

In Idaho, a total of 65 ballot measures appeared on statewide ballots between 1985 and 2020. Forty-eight (73.84%) ballot measures were approved, and 17 (26.15%) ballot measures were defeated.

Additional reading:

Idaho 2022 ballot measures

Sean Maloney and Alessandra Biaggi running in New York’s 17th Congressional District Democratic primary

Sean Maloney and Alessandra Biaggi are running in the Democratic Party primary for New York’s 17th Congressional District on Aug. 23, 2022. Mondaire Jones (D) has represented the 17th Congressional District since 2021 but is running in New York’s 10th Congressional District this election cycle.

Maloney has represented New York’s 18th Congressional District since 2013 and has served as the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee since 2020. Maloney was a candidate for New York’s attorney general in 2018, but lost to Letitia James in the Democratic primary. Maloney also served as a senior advisor to President Bill Clinton (D) and first deputy secretary in former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s (D) administration. Maloney said he is “focused on getting results for my neighbors in the Hudson Valley – despite gridlock and dysfunction in Washington.”

Biaggi has represented District 34 in the New York State Senate since 2019. Biaggi also served as lead counsel to the NYS Council for Women and Girls, as the deputy national operations director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, as the assistant general counsel for the Office of Storm Recovery, and as a legal fellow for New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Biaggi said she is running for Congress “to protect and defend our democracy, to halt the climate crisis, to grow our supply of affordable housing, and to transform our government and economy to serve us all.”

The 17th Congressional District’s boundaries shifted as a result of redistricting. According to data from The New York Times, President Joe Biden (D) received 60% of the vote in the old district, but would have received 55% of the vote in the new district. The New York Times‘ Nicholas Fandos said congressional redistricting in the state “erased outright gains that Democrats had counted on based on the Legislature’s map and made other Democratic swing seats more competitive.”

According to Axios‘ Andrew Solender, “Maloney stoked anger from the left by running in a redrawn district mostly represented by Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), a progressive freshman who is now running for an open seat in New York City miles away from his home turf. Biaggi, who had been running in an open district that was similarly upended by redistricting, then opted to run against Maloney.”

Biaggi said Maloney was “a selfish corporate Democrat” and that “having the head of the campaign arm not stay in his district, not maximize the number of seats New York can have to hold the majority” was hurtful to the party. Maloney said, “From my point of view, I’m just running from where I landed. If someone else is looking at the district, as well, obviously we will try to work through that as colleagues and friends.”

As of July 2022, The Cook Political Report and Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball rated the district Lean Democratic, while Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rated it Likely Democratic. In the previous election, Jones defeated Maureen McArdle Schulman (R) 59% to 35%.