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This is shaping up to be an unusual midterm election

From candidates to the issues the unusual nature is making it difficult to predict
Election 2022 Senate Pennsylvania Democrats
Posted at 3:45 AM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 11:29:21-04

MILWAUKEE — The midterm elections continue to dominate politics and the airwaves in key states with polls showing a tightening race nationally for control of the House and the Senate.

However, with around six weeks or so left in the campaign, it is becoming a difficult election to predict with unusual candidates and unprecedented issues facing voters.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Remember this November is all about control of Congress as well as key governor races around the United States.

In the House, every seat is up. In the Senate, 35 seats are up.

Right now, Democrats control both chambers. Republicans think they can flip both.

You'll hear a lot about "flipping" the senate over the next few weeks.

Republicans think Senate seats, currently held by Democrats, in Georgia, Arizona, New Hampshire, Nevada and even Colorado can be flipped.

Meanwhile, Democrats think seats held by Republicans in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina and even Florida could be flipped in their favor.

On election night, those states you're going to want to watch.

UNUSUAL ELECTION

"Unusual" is an adjective that is being used by many to describe this election and the candidates.

Take for instance the Republican nominees for Senate in Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Ohio. They have never held office before, which is a bit unusual.

In Pennsylvania, the Republican candidate, Mehmet Oz is a former national talk show host. In Georgia, the Republican candidate Herschel Walker is a former NFL running back. How big of a role does being a celebrity play?

Health is also playing an unusually large role this election.

In Pennsylvania, what's unusual isn't the fact the Democratic nominee for Senate loves campaigning in hoodies.

It's his health.

John Fetterman had a stroke in May and has held few campaign events since then. His campaign says he is fine.

Then there are the unusual topics that people are paying attention to.

The economy and the current president always matter in midterms but abortion hasn't played such a critical role for decades. A former president hasn't mattered in a midterm like this since Nixon in the 70s.

The threat of political violence hasn't played such a critical role since the Civil War.

Not to mention, it's unusual just how interested voters appear to be this cycle.

"People tend not to be this engaged this early in midterms," Michael Wagner, a professor with the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin.

He says young people in Wisconsin and other key states are registered to vote in higher numbers than normal for a midterm.

Recent election data in Wisconsin shows new records on pace to be set this midterm among voters under the age of 24.

"Younger voters seem to be more engaged than is typical," Wagner said.