"Midterm Elections" in the USA: All data on the US congressional elections

Setting the political course in the USA: Two years after US President Joe Biden took office, midterm elections are coming up in the US Congress.

"Midterm Elections" in the USA: All data on the US congressional elections

Setting the political course in the USA: Two years after US President Joe Biden took office, midterm elections are coming up in the US Congress. Will Republicans prevail in the House and Senate? The most important data at a glance.

Day of decision in the United States: On Tuesday, November 8, the majorities in the US Congress will be redetermined. The so-called midterm elections (German: Zwischenwahlen) are scheduled to fall exactly at the midpoint of the incumbent president.

This time, the congressional elections are of particular importance: in both chambers - the Senate and the House of Representatives - the Democrats have so far controlled only a wafer-thin majority. The upcoming vote could destroy this lead. Polls point to gains on the Republican side. Is US President Joe Biden losing support in Congress? Will the supporters of ex-president Donald Trump make a kind of comeback?

So far, 220 of the 435 members of the US House of Representatives are Democrats. The threshold for a majority is 218 seats. Three mandates are currently vacant due to one death and two resignations. So far, Biden's influence in this Chamber of Congress can only be based on a narrow majority of two votes for important legislative projects.

In the US Senate, the Democrats' lead is even more fragile: only 48 of the 100 senators went to the Democrats after the last congressional election two years ago. The situation in the US Senate reflects the fragmentation of the political landscape in the USA: The balance of power in the US capital Washington, D.C. stand on a knife's edge.

50 senators - and thus exactly half - belong to the Republicans. Two Senators - Angus King of Maine and Bernie Sanders of Vermont - were elected Independents to the Senate. Since they usually vote with the Democrats when in doubt, the party political balance of power would actually look balanced if it weren't for US Vice President Kamala Harris.

Biden's vice president also presides as Senate President of the second chamber of Congress. In case of doubt, she can lift the party-political stalemate in the Senate: In the event of a tie, she receives a special voting right. Democrat Harris can thus make the difference in partisan political votes.

US electoral law stipulates fast timing for congressional elections: the term of office of all 435 members of the US House of Representatives ends every two years. In the second chamber of parliament, the US Senate, on the other hand, only a third of the 100 senator positions are reassigned every two years.

For President Biden, the midterm elections are about his political future and his creative leeway in the second half of his term of office: The majority in Congress determines whether or not he will have greater influence over the remaining two years until the next presidential election. A US President without support in the Senate or House of Representatives must expect opposition to any legislation proposed by the White House.

A president without a majority in Congress can hardly shape things. In political parlance, he turns into a "lame duck". Weakened and without any presentable major political projects, such a president then faces a less than promising race for a second term.

For the USA and the theoretically around 240 million inhabitants of voting age, there is even more at stake: the congressional elections set the political course in the parliamentary decision-making centers and far beyond. Coinciding with the congressional elections, key positions at the state, regional and local levels are being filled in many of the 50 states.

Eligible for election to the House of Representatives are all US citizens who are at least 25 years old, have been US citizens for at least seven years and live in the state for which they are running. The number of deputies per state is based on the population. Seats are allocated by congressional district.

The term of office of US senators usually runs for six years. The proportional exchange of a third of the seats every two years aims to enable a certain continuity in the political work of the second chamber of congress.

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

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