On January 6, 2021 (yes, during the Capitol riot), the final Senate race of the 2020 election was called for a Democrat. All of a sudden Democrats had achieved something improbable: trifecta control of the presidency, Senate, and House of Representatives. It transformed the possibilities for President Joe Biden’s first two years, giving his party the ability to legislate on their own — which they did.
The trillion-dollar stimulus, the infrastructure bill, the climate investments of the Inflation Reduction Act — all of that was only possible because of unified Democratic control. But even under divided government, both houses of Congress will still wield an enormous amount of power over national affairs and policy. That’s why the 2022 election isn’t just a referendum on whether Democrats should keep Congress — it’s a question of who gets that power, and how they’ll use it. Watch this video to understand the three ways it could all play out.
You can find this video and all of Vox’s videos on YouTube.
Understanding America’s political sphere can be overwhelming. That’s where Vox comes in. We aim to give research-driven, smart, and accessible information to everyone who wants it.
Reader gifts support this mission by helping to keep our work free — whether we’re adding nuanced context to unexpected events or explaining how our democracy got to this point. While we’re committed to keeping Vox free, our distinctive brand of explanatory journalism does take a lot of resources. Advertising alone isn’t enough to support it. Help keep work like this free for all by making a gift to Vox today.
- 8 questions the 2022 midterms answered
- How the right’s radical thinkers are coping with the midterms
- The GOP captures the House — and is ready for revenge
- The Supreme Court lost Republicans the midterms
- Potential 2024 Trump challengers did well on election night
- Beware the post-midterm hot takes about Latino voters
- It’s official: Florida is a red state
- 3 winners and 4 losers from the midterm results so far
- The first Gen Z member of Congress — and several other historic firsts
- J.D. Vance’s pivot to Trumpism pays off with Ohio Senate win
- John Fetterman wins Pennsylvania’s pivotal Senate seat for Democrats
- South Dakota voters decide to extend Medicaid coverage to 45,000 people
- California voters said no to taxing the rich to make EVs more affordable
- The midterms were a resounding win for abortion rights — with one exception
- Donald Trump had a bad night Tuesday. Will it matter?
The battle for Congress
- The high stakes and unique weirdness of the Georgia Senate runoff, briefly explained
- Democrats hang on to their crucial Senate majority
- Nevada just decided the battle for Senate control
- The 3 possible outcomes of the midterms in Congress, explained
- The 9 races that could decide Senate control
- Democratic optimism about the midterms is fading
- How the Pennsylvania Senate race got so close
- The case for Democratic optimism — and pessimism — in the midterms
- What Republicans would do if they win back Congress
- The battleground House and Senate races where the end of Roe could have the biggest impact
- Why a Democratic Senate majority still matters — even if they lose the House
- Democrats lost ground with Latino voters in 2020. Will the midterms be worse?
- The fight for the Senate has become a fight over abortion rights
- What’s at stake for Biden’s climate agenda in the midterms
- Democrats limp behind Republicans on the messaging game
- How Democrats let blue states become GOP targets in the midterms
- 3 Senate races that could still surprise us
- Arizona and Nevada could decide the Senate — and Democrats’ future
In the states
- Democrats had a surprisingly good midterms — but not in New York. Here’s what happened.
- Democrats have notched wins in state legislatures — with likely more to come
- The incredibly close and incredibly high-stakes battle for the Michigan legislature
- In Arizona and Nevada, Democrats’ missteps and bad luck could set them back for years
- How logging, a Nike founder, and the alt-right warped the Oregon governor’s race
- A wonky Arizona ballot measure could unlock a new path to easing medical debt
- New Mexico just voted to make pre-K a universal right
- 6 battleground state attorney general races to watch in 2022
- 7 governor’s races that are abortion battlegrounds
- Two states, two visions for the future of labor
- The politics of New Hampshire, America’s quirkiest state, explained
- The states where the midterms will directly decide the future of abortion access
- The Western midterm contests that might surprise the country
Policies and issues
- A mixed night for marijuana on the ballot
- Anti-abortion groups don’t think they lost the midterms
- The midterm culture war over plant-based meat
- 6 wins and 2 losses on climate in the midterms
- How Americans voted for abortion rights, in one chart
- How abortion rights advocates won every ballot measure this year
- How education culture wars have shaped the midterms
- 11 midterm races that could shape our climate future
- The defense Democrats aren’t using against Republicans’ soft-on-crime attacks
- The new abortion rights spokesmen: Dudes, dads, and plumbers
- The culture war flashpoints dividing Latino Democrats
- A record number of abortion measures are on the ballot in 2022
- Lindsey Graham’s national abortion ban bill makes the midterm stakes very clear
- Is post-Roe voter registration benefiting Democrats?
- The challenge of turning pro-choice Americans into pro-choice voters
- The GOP is learning just how hard it is to legislate abortion
- The end of Roe could be a double-edged sword for Republicans
- Voters don’t actually care about student loan forgiveness
- Yes, most Latinos are Christian. No, that doesn’t make them anti-abortion.
- The reason Republican attacks on crime are so potent
- 9 noteworthy ballot measures from the 2022 elections
Democracy and voting
- The midterms showed American democracy won’t go down without a fight
- Why so many “election deniers” lost in 2022
- Democrats’ quietly effective strategy for defeating election deniers
- The plan to save America by killing the partisan primary
- Elaine Luria dedicated herself to investigating January 6. Do her voters care?
- “Stop the Steal” conspiracy theories are coming for swing state ballot boxes
- How election deniers could sway the 2024 election
- High voter turnout doesn’t cancel out voter suppression
- How to depolarize a country
- What the Electoral Count Reform Act can prevent in the next election — and what it can’t
- Why it’s now illegal for some voters with disabilities to cast a ballot
- Democrats’ fears about restricting mail-in voting were confirmed in Texas
- Florida’s new election police unit is the scariest voter suppression effort yet
- Latino voters are being flooded with even more misinformation in 2022
- Why Florida and Missouri Republicans won’t let federal observers in polling places
- How independent voters saved Democrats
- The guy who got the midterms right explains what the media got wrong
- Did young voters really save Democrats?
- The GOP had terrible Senate candidates and it really did sink them
- What we know so far about the 2022 midterms, in charts
- Democrats kept the Senate. But Georgia is still important.
- Your 2022 midterms cheat sheet
- What the final pre-election polls tell us about how the midterms will turn out
- Why the red wave didn’t come
- What wins for Medicaid and the minimum wage mean for the future of ballot initiatives
- Democrats’ path to keep the House has gotten tougher
- The Georgia Senate race is headed to a runoff. Here’s what that means.
- The power of Hispanic voters, in 10 charts
- Everything you need to know about voting right now
- How the polls might be wrong (again) this year
- A practical guide to winning Latino voters
- Polls aren’t crystal balls. Why do we expect them to be?
- October surprises may not matter in the 2022 midterms
- Could an old-school approach to voting decide the midterms?
- The state of the economy on Election Day, explained in 6 numbers
- 8 questions the 2022 midterms will answer
- We won’t know all the midterm results on election night. That’s normal.
- How a surprising Democratic strategy may have staved off the midterm red wave
- How do election calls get made? Two people in charge explain.
- Kari Lake’s defeat in Arizona may only be a temporary blow to Trumpism
- Lauren Boebert’s extremely tight race in a safe Republican district, explained
- Why Ron DeSantis’s post-midterms glow up may fade
- America’s first Latina senator just saved Democrats’ Senate majority
- How Kari Lake became a MAGA star, and possibly Arizona’s next governor
- What we know about Herschel Walker’s time in Trump’s failed football league
- Beto O’Rourke can’t win without suburban women. They don’t seem sold.
- The difficult truths laid bare in the Fetterman-Oz debate
- Why no one’s giving Tim Ryan a realistic shot to win
- The Democratic Senate majority hinges on Catherine Cortez Masto
- Why Cheri Beasley might be Democrats’ most underrated Senate candidate
- John Fetterman survived a stroke. It could be an asset if he’s elected.
- What we learned from the Walker-Warnock debate
- Herschel Walker is an epically flawed candidate. He could still win.
- The 5 types of candidates to watch in the battle for the House
- Ken Paxton keeps running. Will his legal issues ever catch up?
- How 2022 became the year of the Latina Republican
- Ruben Gallego’s ready for a fight — even if the Democratic Party isn’t
- Even Mitch McConnell’s “perfect” candidate might not win in Colorado
Sign up for the newsletter Future Perfect
Each week, we explore unique solutions to some of the world's biggest problems.