Your guide to the 2022 midterm elections

The 2022 midterm election year kicks off in earnest this spring with a series of Republican and Democratic primaries that will set up the November general election. This preview provides an introduction to the year ahead, with a focus on the most important House, Senate and gubernatorial races, as well as a look at the voters and issues that will help to determine which party holds power starting next January. There’s also a little history thrown in that speaks to President Biden’s problems, plus a look at how former president Donald Trump remains a factor.

The big picture
The big picture
Biden’s approval ratings, worries about inflation and pure exhaustion have Democrats bracing for potential losses
Senate
Senate
Balance of the chamber could come down to four states where Democrats are up for reelection
House
House
Republicans are hoping to add to their success of 2020, and history indicates they will
Governors
Governors
Elections will chart future policy direction in states and set up 2024 campaign dynamics
Key issues
Key issues
Rising cost of living, unsafe streets and pending Supreme Court ruling on abortion are among items voters will consider
Voters
Voters
‘Up for grabs’: These four groups will prove critical to midterm results
Primaries
Primaries
Capturing the general election in November starts by not messing up nomination process now
A referendum on Biden?
A referendum on Biden?
Republicans appear poised at least to capture the House. Democrats look to hold down their losses.
The Trump factor
The Trump factor
Former president’s influence could be a boost or detriment to the GOP cause
Updated June 4, 2022

Understanding the 2022 Midterm Elections

About this story

Illustrations by Lucy Naland based on photos by Demetrius Freeman, Jabin Botsford, Nitashia Johnson and Craig Hudson, graphics by The Washington Post and additional imagery from iStock.

Story editing by Philip Rucker. Copy editing by Thomas Heleba. Project editing by Jay Wang. Design and development by Tyler Remmel and Jake Crump. Design editing by Madison Walls. Graphics by Chris Alcantara. Graphics editing by Kevin Uhrmacher. Photo editing by Thomas Simonetti. Additional editing by Rachel Van Dongen, Ashlyn Still and Jenna Johnson.