Here are the nationwide election races that will decide control of Congress

Photo by Alex Wong (Getty Images)

In the end, it actually all is pretty simple.

Despite the seemingly thousands of campaign ads for hundreds of races for office that will be decided on Tuesday, the general focus and tenure of Election Day 2022 on a national level will likely boil down to one question:

Can the Republicans gain at least one seat in the U.S. Senate?

Right now, Democrats technically hold the majority by the slimmest of margins.

There are 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats and two Independents that make up the Senate, but the two Independents align themselves with the Democrats, meaning Vice President Kamala Harris serves as the tiebreaker for any partisan vote that comes through.

The math is really easy in that the Republicans need to gain one seat to regain a majority. Of note, Republicans are forecasted easily to gain more than the five seats needed to retake control of the House of Representatives, so focus has turned to the Senate, which is more of a toss-up.

Overall, 34 Senate seats are up for grabs, 20 of which have been held by Republicans.

In short though, the focus is on five races in particular that are considered toss-ups. Of those races, three are currently controlled and need to be defended by Democrats.

Here’s a breakdown of the latest in those races, listed in alphabetical order by state.


Mark Kelly(D)
Blake Masters(R)
99% of Precincts Reporting

(1,715 / 1,732)

In a contest between incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly and Republican challenger Blake Masters, a venture capitalist executive, Kelly currently has a 6-point lead, according to a recent New York Times-Siena College poll.

This race has been viewed as leaning toward Kelly throughout the summer, but Masters has made some incremental gains and isn’t completely out of the picture yet despite Kelly’s lead, since the same poll found 49% of voters in the state prefer Republicans to control the Senate.


Raphael Warnock(D)
Herschel Walker(R)
100% of Precincts Reporting

(2,707 / 2,707)

A tight race all summer between Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker, a former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL star, has only gotten tighter.

The two are in a dead heat as we head to the final stretch, according to a poll by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The New York Times-Siena College Poll had Warnock with a 3-point lead, but there is a 4.8% margin for error.

New Hampshire

Maggie Hassan(D)
Donald Bolduc(R)
100% of Precincts Reporting

(304 / 304)

There has been a major shift in this race in the final days before Election Day. Incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan was thought to be a solid favorite throughout the campaign, but all of a sudden Republican Don Bolduc is gaining ground fast.

According to Politico, this race has turned into a toss-up.

Hassan has a 50% to 48% lead over Bolduc in a poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, with the poll having a 2.1% margin of error.


Catherine Cortez Masto(D)
Adam Laxalt(R)
99% of Precincts Reporting

(1,673 / 1,690)

Another seat the Democrats are furiously trying to hang on to, incumbent Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is in a virtual tie with Republican challenger Adam Laxalt, a former attorney general in Nevada. The New York Times-Siena College poll had each candidate at 47%.


John Fetterman(D)
Mehmet Oz(R)
99% of Precincts Reporting

(9,081 / 9,173)

In recent weeks, this race has become one to watch because it has gotten tighter. Democratic nominee John Fetterman still has a 5-point lead over Republican challenger Mehmet Oz, according to the New York Times-Siena College poll, but it’s a lead that has gotten less comfortable.

This race became more into light since Fetterman, who is recovering from a stroke suffered in May, seemed to struggle on-stage during a debate last week. But voters are still viewing him favorably.

This seat has been Republican controlled, but is up for grabs after Sen. Pat Toomey announced he wouldn’t seek reelection. That means it’s an opportunity for Democrats to gain a seat if Fetterman can hold on.


Ron Johnson(R)
Mandela Barnes(D)
100% of Precincts Reporting

(3,630 / 3,630)

A close race throughout the summer, this has started to become a lot less stressful for Republicans and the focus of last-ditch efforts by Democrats.

Incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson had a 6-point lead over Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes in an October poll conducted by Marquette University Law School, while handicapper Nate Silver said Barnes only has a 24% chance to win, according to The Hill.

Knowing how the tide was turning toward Johnson, the Democrats had former President Barack Obama campaign for Barnes last week.

The bottom line is that if Pennsylvania goes to the Democrats and Wisconsin goes to the Republicans, whichever party can win two out of three between Arizona, Georgia and Nevada will likely claim control of the Senate.

In addition to those Senate races, here are some Governor races we are following:

Arizona - This race has been a virtual dead heat in the polls between Republican Kari Lake and Democrat Katie Hobbs.

Katie Hobbs(D)
Kari Lake(R)
99% of Precincts Reporting

(1,715 / 1,732)

Florida - Incumbent Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been talked about as a candidate to run for President in 2024, has a big lead in the polls over Democratic challenger Charlie Crist.

Ron DeSantis(R)
Charlie Crist(D)
99% of Precincts Reporting

(5,610 / 5,667)

Georgia - A rematch from the 2018 election, Incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has been holding a solid lead over Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams.

Brian Kemp(R)
Stacey Abrams(D)
100% of Precincts Reporting

(2,707 / 2,707)

Kansas - Incumbent Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has maintained a solid lead in the polls over Republican challenger Derek Schmidt.

Laura Kelly(D)
Derek Schmidt(R)
100% of Precincts Reporting

(4,040 / 4,040)

Michigan - Incumbent Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has had a sizeable lead over Republican challenger Tudor Dixon throughout the summer and fall, although Dixon has made some modest gains leading into Tuesday.

Gretchen Whitmer(D)
Tudor Dixon(R)
100% of Precincts Reporting

(4,690 / 4,690)

Pennsylvania - Democrat Josh Shapiro hasn’t relinquished what’s been a commanding lead in the stretch run over Republican challenger Doug Mastriano.

Josh Shapiro(D)
Douglas Mastriano(R)
99% of Precincts Reporting

(9,081 / 9,173)

Texas - Despite heavy fundraising efforts by Democrat and 2020 Presidential candidate Beta O’Rourke, incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott still has been holding a steady lead.

Greg Abbott(R)
Beto O'Rourke(D)
99% of Precincts Reporting

(9,053 / 9,144)

Wisconsin - It’s been a tight race all summer and fall between incumbent Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Republican challenger Tim Michels, and will be a toss-up all the way until results are finalized.

Tony Evers(D)
Tim Michels(R)
100% of Precincts Reporting

(3,630 / 3,630)

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.