Lay of the Land for 2022 Senate Campaigns

The Story:

The attention of the political class has turned already from the extraordinary Presidential transition of 2020-21 to the elections of both Representatives and Senators in 2022.


Thirty-four of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested in 2022. Of those, 14 have Democratic incumbents, 20 Republican incumbents. This means the Democrats have more running-room to pick up new seats: the Republicans will be playing a lot of defense. Further, none of the 14 Democratic incumbents has shown any interest in retirement. It appears likely that each will seek to stay for another term. On the Republican side, four have announced that this will be their last. These numbers, too, suggest it is likely the Democrats will gain some ground.

But no one can make any confident prediction as to the results of that election without first having a hypothesis about what the economy (and the epidemiology) is going to look like a year and more from now.

The Thing to Know:

If the next few months see an economic recovery and the dissipation of the pandemic than one can expect the Democratic Party, as the incumbents in both Houses and the Presidency, will reap the benefits, widening their slim majorities in each Chamber and giving President Biden more latitude in pushing his own agenda. Of course, if the coming months go badly, the opposite expectations arise.


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