Senate electionsThe United States Senate is made up of 100 members, two from each state. Senators serve six year terms, with staggered elections. In any given election year, one third of Senate seats are contested. In 2022, 21 seats held by Republicans and 14 seats held by Democrats were on the ballot. Prior to this election, the Democrats had control of the Senate, despite an equal 50-50 split. In the case of a deadlock, the Vice President holds the deciding vote. The Vice President for at least two more years is Kamala Harris - a Democrat.
One party must hold 50 seats plus the Vice Presidency, or 51 seats without the VP to have a Senate majority. Prior to these midterm elections, Democrats held 48 seats with two independent Senators (Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine) who caucus with them. To ensure a majority in the next sitting of the Senate, the Democrats needed to win back all of the 14 contested seats. Republicans needed to win back all 21 seats, and flip a seat from the Democrats.