Study Notes

Midterm Elections

AQA, Edexcel, OCR

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

Elections that are held at roughly the midpoint of an executive term.

In US Politics, a Mid Term Election is one that is held in the middle of a full presidential term. For example, if a Presidential Term is 2016-2020, then the midterm election would be 2018.

Their are typically a variety of offices up for election in a Mid Term, but the notable ones include, all seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate. On a state level, many states choose to elect their Governors and state legislatures in these years.

Midterm elections typically, as with local elections in the UK, generate a much lower turnout figure when compared to General Elections. For example, the graph below shows the turnout figures from every election, both Midterm and Presidential, from 1789 through to 2014. This information is provided by the United States Election Project .

US Voter Turnout 1789-2014

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