COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The 2022 election is a few days away as candidates in Ohio and across the country ramp up efforts to grab those final votes before Nov. 8.
The first midterm elections of this decade could see the continuation of statistical U.S. House and Senate trends and changes in Ohio that haven’t been seen in years.
NBC4 took a look at election trends dating to 1960, analyzing party shifts at the national and local level. Will these tendencies break or hold come the time races are called are all over the country?
The mid-1990s signified the shift in Congress from always having a Democratic majority to changing at least once under each president.
From 1954 to 1992, the House had a Democratic majority and, despite a consistent trend of losing seats within that 38-year period, there was a significant difference in seats that Republicans could never overcome.
That changed in 1994, when Republicans gained 54 seats in Congress in the midst of Bill Clinton’s presidency. Since then, no party has held a majority in the House for a president’s entire term.
Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s initial presidential wins coincided with a Democratic majority in Congress. In the other three elections with both Clinton and Obama as president, the House had a Republican majority.
The last two Republican presidents, George W. Bush and Donald Trump, had Republican majorities in the House when elected and Democratic majorities in their final two years.
President Joe Biden could become the first Democratic president since Jimmy Carter to have a Democratic House majority for the first four years as his term. If the Democrats keep the House, it would also be the first-time since the early 1990s they would win the House majority for three successive elections.
Unlike the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate’s majority has changed more frequently. One similarity, however, is that Democrats extended control of the Senate beginning in 1956. Two years later, the party gained 12 seats to swing its majority from 51-45 to 61-35.
That two-thirds Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate lasted for about a decade, until the Republican party began to gain seats every two years.
A Republican majority in the Senate would not happen until 1980, when Ronald Reagan was elected president and the Republican party gained 12 Senate seats to grasp a 53-46 majority. Since then, no party has held the Senate majority for 10 consecutive years.
The Democrats currently hold the Senate majority, with both independent senators (Maine’s Angus King and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders) caucusing with Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the 50-50 tie. Democrats are vying for the party’s first outright Senate majority since 2012, and Republicans need a net gain of five seats to retake the majority.
In Ohio, there are a number of things to watch for when it comes to the Senate election between Rep. Tim Ryan (D) and J.D. Vance (R) and each county’s election for House of Representatives.
With Republican Rob Portman’s retirement, Ohio could for the first time in nearly 20 years have two U.S. Senators from the Democratic party if Ryan wins. 1994 was the last time the state had two Democrats in the Senate with John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum, before Mike DeWine (R) was elected in 1994 over Joel Hyatt (D).
On the other side, if Vance wins the seat, the state will continue a nearly 20-year trend of having one senator from each party. The last time Ohio did not have a party split in the U.S. Senate was 2006 with DeWine and George Voinovich (R).
Party changes have not been frequent, however, for Ohio’s representatives in Congress. Since 2014, Ohio has had 12 Republican representatives and 4 Democratic representatives with the state last having a Democratic majority in the house from 2009 to ’11.