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“Midterm Elections” in the US: All data on US congressional elections

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“Midterm Elections” in America
All data on US congressional elections

By Martin Morcinek

A major political event in the US: Two years after Joe Biden took office as US President, the mid-term elections in the US Congress are coming up. Will Republicans win the House and Senate? Most important data at a glance.

Decision Day in the United States: On Tuesday, November 8, majorities in the US Congress will be re-determined. The so-called midterm elections (German: Zwischenwahlen) are scheduled to fall exactly in the middle of the current president’s term.

This time, the congressional elections are especially important: in both houses – the Senate and the House of Representatives – the Democrats have so far controlled only a slim majority. The upcoming vote could erase this lead. Polls point to a Republican victory. Is US President Joe Biden Losing Support in Congress? Will former President Donald Trump’s supporters make a comeback?

So far, 220 of the 435 members of the US House of Representatives are Democrats. 218 seats for majority. Three posts are currently vacant due to one death and two resignations. So far, Biden’s influence in this Congress has been based on narrow two-vote majorities for important legislative proposals.

In the US Senate, the Democratic Party’s lead is still tenuous: only 48 of the 100 senators went Democratic after the congressional elections two years ago. The situation in the U.S. Senate reflects the fragmentation of the political landscape in the United States: the balance of power in the U.S. capital, Washington, DC, is on a razor’s edge.

50 senators – thus exactly half – are Republicans. Two senators — Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont — were elected to the Senate as independents. Because they usually vote Democratic when in doubt, the balance of party political power would actually be balanced — if it weren’t for U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.

Biden’s vice president also presides over the Senate, the second chamber of Congress. When in doubt, he can break the party-political deadlock in the Senate: in the event of a tie, he gets a special right to vote. Harris, a Democrat, could make a difference in party political votes.

The US Elections Act provides for accelerated timing of congressional elections: the terms of all 435 members of the US House of Representatives expire every two years. In the second chamber of Congress, the US Senate, on the other hand, only one-third of the 100 senatorial positions are replaced every two years.

For President Biden, the midterm elections are about his political future and his creative ways into the second half of his term: the majority of Congress determines whether or not he will gain more influence in the two years remaining until the next presidential election. The President of the United States should expect opposition to any legislation proposed by the White House that does not have support in the Senate or House of Representatives.

A President who does not have a majority in Congress cannot shape things. In political parlance, he becomes a “lame duck”. Weak and with no grand political agenda to present, such a president faces little competition beyond the promise of a second term.

For America, and its roughly 240 million people of theoretical voting age, there is even more at stake: Parliamentary elections set the political course in parliamentary decision-making centers and beyond. In conjunction with congressional elections, key positions at the state, regional, and local levels are being filled in many of the 50 states.

All persons eligible for election to the House of Representatives are US citizens who are at least 25 years of age, have been US citizens for at least seven years and live in the state from which they are running. Number of representatives per state based on population. Seats are allotted by congressional district.

The term of office of US senators is usually six years. The proportional exchange of one-third of the seats every two years aims to implement a certain continuity in the political work of the second chamber of Congress.

Candidates for the U.S. Senate must be at least 30 years old, have been U.S. citizens for at least nine years, and reside in the state in which they are running. Each of the 50 US states has two senators.

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