WASHINGTON — The 2022 midterm elections are shaping up to be a historic, decisive moment in American politics.
Democrats currently have a slim control over the U.S. Congress, and Republicans are hoping to make major gains to win back power.
The outcome of this election will determine not only the future of congressional control but the outlook for the remainder of President Joe Biden’s agenda during his term in office.
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Latest headlines and live election results
- ABC News projects John Fetterman has defeated Dr. Mehmet Oz to win Pennsylvania’s Senate race, the first flipped seat in the chamber.
- ABC News projects Democrat Josh Shapiro has defeated Republican Doug Mastriano in Pennsylvania’s governor’s race.
- In the Senate, Republicans are slightly favored to take control, FiveThirtyEight is projecting. Republicans are projected to retain control of 17 of 21 GOP seats on the ballot, and Democrats are projected to retain 10 of the 14 seats on the ballot. Democrats held down a close race in New Hampshire with U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan’s projected win, while Republican JD Vance held onto control for the GOP in Ohio.
- Republicans are favored to flip the House, FiveThirtyEight projects.
- The Maryland and Massachusetts governors’ seats have flipped Democrat, ABC News projects. Several more of the 36 governorships that were up for election could change hands, with FiveThirtyEight projecting Nevada, Wisconsin and possibly Oregon to flip Republican. Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is projected to win in a rematch against Democrat Stacey Abrams, GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is projected to win a record-tying third term.
- Abortion is on the ballot in five states, and five states are considering whether to approve recreational marijuana.
What’s at play
In the Senate, 21 Republican seats and 14 Democratic seats were up for grabs, with FiveThirtyEight projecting that Republicans are slightly favored to win.
While the Senate could tilt either way after the midterm elections, the majority party is still likely to have the slimmest of margins. That means Biden will be able to find a bit more common ground there, no matter who is in charge. Much of Biden’s legislative achievements in office have been the byproduct of bipartisan negotiations in the Senate.
WATCH: Battle for control over Congress a major focus of 2022 elections
Still, a Republican-led Senate could pass bills sent over by a GOP House, putting political pressure on Biden. And the GOP would regain control of committees and, with it, the power to conduct investigations and oversight of the administration.
ABC News projects Democrat John Fetterman has defeated Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz to pick up retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat.
In another tight race, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is running for a full six-year term against Republican challenger Herschel Walker. Walker’s abortion controversy, however, may affect his chances of winning.
Republicans have four main pickup opportunities — and right now, Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto’s seat looks like one of their best shots. Polls show her narrowly trailing against her Republican opponent, Adam Laxalt, the state’s former attorney general.
What’s at play
In the House, 213 Republican seats and 222 Democratic seats up for grabs, with FiveThirtyEight forecasting Republicans taking control.
SEE ALSO: What to expect on election night
Democrats, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have held the majority since 2018, when they won control in then-President Donald Trump’s first midterm election. Republicans could take back the House if they net just five seats in dozens of competitive districts, and they are trying to win dozens.
History also gives Republicans reason for optimism. In the modern era, the party that’s held the White House has lost congressional seats in virtually every first-term president’s midterm election.
If Republicans win the House, the GOP caucus will elect a new speaker and take power on Jan. 3, 2023. They will run every committee and decide what bills come to the House floor.
MORE: The importance of the 2022 midterm elections
Abortion is on the ballot in five states, and five states are considering whether to approve recreational marijuana.
Voters in a handful of states will weigh in on abortion in this year’s election in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and left abortion rights to the states.
California, Michigan and Vermont are asking voters some variation of whether they want to establish a right to abortion, while Kentucky is asking if its constitution should be changed to say there is no such right to abortion or government funding for it.
Montana is asking voters whether to require medical care and treatment for infants born alive after an attempted abortion.
Pot is a popular topic on ballots again this election.
Five states are considering whether to approve recreational marijuana for those 21 and older. Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota have measures on their ballots to amend their constitutions and legalize recreational marijuana. They would join 19 states and the District of Columbia with recreational cannabis.
Prohibitions across the country have fallen steadily in the decade since Colorado and Washington approved recreational cannabis. Even some states in the Deep South have given the go-ahead to medical marijuana.
The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.
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