Georgia ends 2022 midterm cycle that challenged and confounded Washington: ANALYSIS


The “red wave” wasn’t, but other lessons look less clear.

ByRick Klein
December 8, 2022, 5:21 AM

By the numbers recorded in the history books, the 2022 midterms are unlikely to look seismic.

No incumbent senator lost his or her job, and Georgia’s runoff win on Tuesday means Democrats will add a single seat to the Senate majority they already had. Republicans picked up only nine seats in the House, enough to take control by the mirror image of the narrow margin that left them in the minority after 2020.

But behind the tidy figures were complicated and downright confounding forces that leave both parties struggling for governing takeaways and lessons learned. An election that defied history and both parties’ expectations sets up an equally uncertain future — shaped by things that neither party’s leaders seem to truly understand or fully control.

“This will make it easier for us to get some things done,” Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock told President Joe Biden in celebrating his victory on Tuesday night.

Biden readily agreed. But the truth is far more complicated — a reality recognized inside both the White House and a Republican Party still reeling from missed opportunities, particularly in that Georgia race.