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The 1982 United States elections were held on November 2, 1982. Neither chamber of Congress changed hands.

1982 United States elections
Midterm elections
Election dayNovember 2
Incumbent presidentRonald Reagan (Republican)
Next Congress98th
Senate elections
Overall controlRepublican Hold
Seats contested33 of 100 seats
Net seat changeDemocratic +1
1982 Senate election map.svg
1982 Senate election results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold

House elections
Overall controlDemocratic Hold
Seats contestedAll 435 voting seats
Popular vote marginDemocratic +11.8%
Net seat changeDemocratic +26
1982 House of Representatives Elections map.png
1982 House of Representatives election results

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold

Gubernatorial elections
Seats contested38 (36 states, 2 territories)
Net seat changeDemocratic +7
1982 Gubernatorial election map.svg
1982 gubernatorial election results
Territorial races not shown

  Democratic gain   Democratic hold
  Republican gain   Republican hold

The party balance in the Senate remained practically unchanged; Democrats only gained one seat after a Democratic-leaning Independent left the Senate. Democrats won the nationwide popular vote for the House of Representatives by a margin of 11.8 points and gained 27 seats, cementing their majority in that chamber.[1] The House elections took place after the 1980 United States Census and the subsequent Congressional re-apportionment. In the gubernatorial elections, Democrats won a net gain of seven seats.

The Democratic election gains were largely due to President Ronald Reagan's unpopularity as a result of the deepening 1982 recession which many voters blamed on his economic policies. The Democrats' gains put a check on Reagan's policies, as the incoming Congress (particularly the House) was significantly less open to Reagan's conservative policies. Despite the Democratic electoral gains, this election was the first time that the Republican Party had successfully defended a majority in either chamber of Congress since they did so in the 1928 elections.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 1982" (PDF). U.S. House of Reps, Office of the Clerk. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  2. ^ Busch, Andrew (1999). Horses in Midstream. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 126–135.