Analysis: Seven key races in the 2022 midterm elections

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CNN

With all 435 house races, 35 Senate races, and 36 gubernatorial races on ballots across the country, it’s hard to know where to look election day to get a sense of what kind of night it’s going to be.

Below are my picks for races that are worth watching – not just for the results, but for what they can tell us about the national playing field. The races are listed alphabetically.

* Connecticut’s 5th District: Connecticut is not a battleground state, but this race has become emblematic of the struggles some Democratic officeholders are having in New England. Rep. Jahana Hayes has held the western Connecticut seat since 2018 and was re-elected in 2020 with 55% of the vote as Joe Biden led the district in the presidential race with about an equal share of the vote. However, Republicans have been optimistic about their nominee George Logan for some time. The former state senator wants to become the first Republican to represent the district in about 16 years. internal elections evaluate the race a toss up. If the Republicans win here, that’s it probably a sign that they go to the majority nationwide.

* Governor of Michigan: Michigan was one of the best swing states in the country in the last two national elections, but Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appears to be a favorite here in her race against Republican Tudor Dixon, who won a hard-fought primary race thanks to support from former President Donald Trump. Dixon has struggled to remain financially competitive with Whitmer since winning the nomination. Polls suggest Whitmer will lose this race, but keep an eye on the lead. If she wins in the low single digits, it would indicate an overperformance from Dixon which could affect race set-up.

* New Hampshire Senate: After retired Army Brig. Gen. Gen. Gen. Don Bolduc became the Republican nominee earlier this fall, it seemed like national GOP groups were giving up the race. The Super-PAC, which is affiliated with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, withdrew more than $5 million in planned advertising in the state, and it seemed like Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan was on course to victory. But the National Republican Senatorial Committee jumped back in the race and the Senate majority Democrats added money to their ad reservation in the final week of the campaign, suggesting this is one tighter than expected. If Bolduc wins, you can be almost certain that Republicans will regain control of the Senate.

* New York’s 17th district: Here, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who also happens to be the leader of the House Democrats’ campaign arm, is running for re-election. Early Republican spending on the race appeared to be nothing more than a troll move intended to annoy Maloney and distract from other races across the country. Then, like so many races in the Northeast lately, it became competitive. GOP Rep. Mike Lawler has stayed within striking distance. Inside Elections recently moved its grading of this race to toss up, a sign that the momentum is with Republicans. If Lawler manages to stop the riot, it will be doubly sweet for his group – they will take a place no one expected and Take out one member of the Democratic leadership.

* North Carolina Senate: North Carolina was tighter again in 2016 for Donald Trump and in 2020. That means GOP Rep. Ted Budd should be the favorite here. And he is. But former Chief Justice of the State Cheri Beasley has kept things closer than many expected in a race marred by Senate contests featuring bigger figures in states like Georgia and Pennsylvania. If Democrats manage to win this race, it would indicate they have a very real chance of retaining the Senate majority if the results roll in further west. On the other hand, if Budd’s lead is 5 points or more, that’s a good sign for Republican prospects.

* Governor of Oregon: Like other blue enclaves across the country, Oregon is surprisingly competitive in this election. (Oregon hasn’t elected a Republican governor in nearly four decades.) That’s due in no small part to the deep unpopularity of outgoing Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, which has strained the chances of her party’s nominee, Tina Kotek. Another complicating factor is the presence of former Democratic Sen. Betsy Johnson, who is campaigning credibly as an independent. The beneficiary of all this is Republican candidate Christine Drazan. A Republican victory in Oregon would be highly symbolic — a sign that they can run anywhere in the country (at least this election cycle).

* Virginia’s 2nd District: If you are looking for one Bell Tower Quarter In the early night, this spot in the Virginia Beach area is for you. Notably, Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria is a member of the House Committee of Inquiry into January 6 — and has emphasized not only her role, but that of the panel, throughout the campaign Focus on preserving democracy. State Senator Jen Kiggans has proven to be a solid Republican recruit in a newly drawn district that would have narrowly gone for Biden. If Luria can pull off a win, the idea of ​​a massive red wave in the house takes a hit. However, if Kiggans wins, that tells us the environment is good for Republicans.

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