US midterms: Five of the key Senate races to watch

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Midterm Congressional elections are almost always a win for the opposition party, leaving Democrats fighting an uphill battle to hold on to their razor-thin Senate majority. With pre-election polls indicating that contests in several crucial states are still too close to call, here are five of the races to watch.

Democrats need to win several key races to maintain their majority in the Senate, where there is a current 50-50 split (with Vice President Kamala Harris delivering the tie-breaking vote in the case of a deadlock). In contrast, Republicans only need to flip one seat to secure a majority.

If history is any indication, the situation may even be more dire for Democrats in the House of Representatives, where the president’s party has lost seats in almost every midterm vote since World War II.

In the 19 midterm votes held between 1946 and 2018, the party in the White House has gained House seats only twice, in 1998 and 2002. Even relatively popular presidents (Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan) have watched their parties get trounced in the midterms.

But an array of unique and unpredictable factors could lead the 2022 race to be another outlier. The reversal of Roe v Wade galvanized not only women but others concerned that the Supreme Court overstepped by infringing on the rights of citizens to make their own decisions on healthcare.

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