Mid-term election in the United States

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Mid-term or mid-term elections ( English : Midterm elections , midterms ) are the elections to the US Congress , the legislature of the United States that take place between two presidential elections.

The US Congress, a bicameral - Parliament after the British pattern consists of two "houses", the House of Representatives with 435 seats and the Senate with 100 seats. According to US suffrage , a third of the senators and the entire House of Representatives must be re-elected every two years. At the same time, part of the US governors and the composition of the parliaments of most US states will be redefined on this occasion .

The midterms take place in the middle of the four-year term of office of the US president and, like the US presidential election, always on the Tuesday after the first Monday of the respective November.


The mid-term elections are often interpreted as a sentiment about the politics of the incumbent president: For example, the Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Democrats in the Senate each had a narrow majority after the elections in 2000. The Republican George W. Bush was elected to the office of President . In the subsequent mid-term elections in 2002 , the government's policy was confirmed: The Republicans were able to gain significant votes in both chambers and win back the majority in the Senate.

It often turns out that two years after a presidential election, a majority of the party making up the president is difficult to defend. With the election of George W. Bush in November 2004, the Republican Party won a majority in both houses of Congress . In the 2006 mid-term elections, however, the Democrats were able to take over a majority from the Republicans in both houses. If a party can win an above-average number of mandates, one speaks of a wave election . However, these can also occur in parallel to a presidential election if the balance of power in Congress changes significantly.

Thirty- four of the 50 states elect their governors at the same time as the mid-term elections every four years, and Vermont and New Hampshire elect them at the same time as the presidential and mid-term elections every two years. Many states elect their state legislatures and county administrations together with the mid-term elections .

Individual elections

In the 2010 mid-term elections on November 2 of that year, the Democrats lost massive votes and more than 50 seats; from then on, Barack Obama had to rule against the now Republican-dominated Congress.

The 2014 mid-term elections also took place during Barack Obama's term of office and mostly brought profits for the Republicans, who won a majority in the Senate, among other things.

The 2018 mid-term elections took place on November 6th of that year: they were under the impression of increasing division in US society under President Trump and brought a majority for the Democrats in the House of Representatives and gains in the gubernatorial elections, but a consolidation of the Republican majority in the Senate.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Marc Pitzke, New York: US congressional elections: superpower in a super-standstill . In: Spiegel Online . November 3, 2010 ( spiegel.de [accessed November 3, 2018]).
  2. Marc Pitzke, New York: Success for US Republicans: Choice of Anger . In: Spiegel Online . November 3, 2010 ( spiegel.de [accessed November 3, 2018]).
  3. ^ Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff: Removed President: How Obama can recapture America . In: Spiegel Online . November 4, 2010 ( spiegel.de [accessed November 3, 2018]).
  4. After US congressional elections: Obama admits misjudgments . In: Spiegel Online . November 8, 2010 ( spiegel.de [accessed November 3, 2018]).