June 17, 2021

Once Again, A Handful Of States May Decide A U.S. Election

In the words of baseball sage Yogi Berra: "It's like déjà vu all over again." Indeed it is. With the 2022 mid-term elections only 16 months away, it appears that just four states will likely hold the key to who controls Congress. In his analysis for Roll CallNathan L. Gonzales pinpoints Florida, Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia as the Big Four. That sounds about right to us. For brevity purposes, we'll refer to them as 'The Gang of FANG' for the rest of this article.

All four states were pivotal in the 2020 Presidential election—and, of course, Georgia delivered the Senate to Democrats with two narrow run-off victories. Perhaps more importantly, all four of the 'Gang of FANG' are at the center of the demographic shifts taking place in America. The urban centers in all four states are increasingly blue-friendly, while rural areas are reliably red. As we saw in the 2020 cycle, it's the suburbs in all four states that may decide things in 2022.

Historically, the party that holds the White House loses seats in mid-term elections—and Republicans need just one pick-up in the Senate to regain control of that chamber. In the House, the GOP needs a net gain of only five seats to make Nancy Pelosi relinquish her Speakership. Since Republicans generally control the reapportionment process in most of the 'The Gang of FANG', it seems likely that the power configuration on Capitol Hill will look quite different in 2023.

That said, predictions are a dangerous business for pundits in this era—and no one really knows what post-pandemic voting behavior will look like. So, fasten your political seat belts—it's going to be a bumpy ride.