Apr 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Doug Sosnik: Six key states to watch for 2022

Illustration of the US map with Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Nevada highlighted in blue.

Illustration: Axios Visuals

The six political hotspots for 2022 — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Nevada — are also expected to decide the 2024 election, former longtime senior Bill Clinton advisor Doug Sosnik writes in his latest midterms memo, shared first with Axios.

Why it matters: All have competitive governors' races in November. Five of the six (minus Nevada) were the only states to vote for the winning presidential candidates in both 2016 and 2020. And President Biden's approval is underwater in all of them.

  • Sosnik said he included Nevada in this group of battleground states because the margins in 2016 and 2020 were less than 2.5%.
  • These are the states "still in the midst of a political transformation that has been driven by economic and demographic changes," he writes. That impacts how people vote. So does the national political mood, reflected in the president's approval rating.

The big picture: So far, the trends favor Republicans. They have a 17-point advantage on voter enthusiasm this cycle, per a March NBC survey. President Biden's approval has been in the low 40s for months.

What they're saying: "Those are all foreboding signs for Democrats," Sosnik said.

  • "Large, tectonic forces are far more determinative for an election cycle than the tactics of a campaign," Sosnik said.

Between the lines: All five of the Cook Political Report's U.S. Senate toss-up races are taking place in the states captured by Sosnik.

  • Democrats are defending seats in Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada; Republicans are defending Wisconsin and Pennsylvania is an open race.
  • These states also are an important group for U.S. House elections: Nearly one-third of Cook's most competitive House seats are across this six-state battleground.

Go deeper: Read Doug Sosnik's full memo.

Go deeper