United States midterm election

Midterm elections in the United States are the general elections that are held near the midpoint of a president's four-year term of office, on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Federal offices that are up for election during the midterms include all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives, and 33 or 34 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate.

In addition, 34 of the 50 U.S. states elect their governors for four-year terms during midterm elections, while Vermont and New Hampshire elect governors to two-year terms in both midterm and presidential elections. Thus 36 governors are elected during midterm elections. Many states also elect officers to their state legislatures in midterm years. There are also elections held at the municipal level. On the ballot are many mayors, other local public offices, and a wide variety of citizen initiatives.

Special elections are often held in conjunction with regular elections,[1] so additional Senators, governors and other local officials may be elected to partial terms.

Midterm elections historically generate lower voter turnout than presidential elections. While the latter have had turnouts of about 50–60% over the past 60 years, only about 40% of those eligible to vote actually go to the polls in midterm elections.[2][3] Historically, midterm elections often see the president's party lose seats in Congress, and also frequently see the president's opposite-party opponents gain control of one or both houses of Congress.[4]