Following the initial post-election analysis we released on November 9, several critical races in the US Senate and House of Representatives have been certified, which has also determined party control of each chamber. This updated analysis incorporates those results and continues to provide analysis on what the election likely means for a host of policy areas – both in the Lame Duck session in 2022 and in the 118th Congress beginning in January.

Republicans have won a narrow House of Representatives majority, and Democrats will retain their slim Senate majority.

While pundits forecast a Red Wave sweeping across the country, voters delivered a different message.

  • Historically, the president’s party suffers during the first midterm election as voters seek to vent against the party in power.
    • As anticipated, Democrats lost control of the House, but not by as wide of a margin as projected.
    • With victories in Nevada and Arizona, Democrats now hold a 50-49 edge in the Senate. Senate Democrats will retain the majority regardless of the outcome of Georgia’s December 6 Senate runoff –due to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote should there be a 50-50 Senate.
    • The election showed that candidate quality matters, as do issues (e.g., inflation, abortion, crime) and voter enthusiasm.

The narrow majorities in both chambers suggest America remains divided, and compromise will be needed to overcome policy gridlock.

  • Democrats will not hold a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate, which is needed to overcome a filibuster, limiting debate and allowing the chamber to proceed to a bill’s consideration.
  • Given that limitation, nothing significant will become law without compromise in the House and the Senate.