MILWAUKEE — We are midway to the 2022 midterm elections and NBC's Chuck Todd says there's a lot to digest here after Republicans pulled off an upset Tuesday in the Virginia Governor's race and Democrats had a close call in the New Jersey governor's race.
Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Democratic Governor Phil Murphy survived a closer-than-expected race to win a second term in New Jersey.
Midterm elections generally don't turn out well for the political party in power at the White House, and right now that's the Democrats.
TMJ4's long time political reporter Charles Benson asked Todd if 2022 is starting to look like 2010 when political newcomers like Ron Johnson rode a red wave into office.
"I think the trajectory of where this is headed, is number one, that if the economy improves before the summer, because it always is a lag. It always takes time for it to really impact voters, said Todd. "But if we get this post COVID economic boom starting in April, May (or) June, that could change the mindset of voters."
The other unknown or wild card in 2022 is former President Donald Trump.
"If Donald Trump decides to get more involved, it complicates Republicans," said Todd. "When he's less involved, they're able to focus it about the Democrats."
Senator Johnson has yet to decide if he's going to run for a third term, but Trump is encouraging Johnson to run.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers is running for a second term. Evers beat a crowded field of Democratic rivals in 2018 to take on and beat Republican Scott Walker in an election decided by a margin of 1.1% of the vote.
The new Marquette Law School Poll indicates perils for both Johnson and Evers. Voters were asked who they would vote for in 2022 and more than half responded "someone else."
Voter turnout is also key in any election, but midterms tend to be lower turnouts. To measure voter enthusiasm in 2022, NBC and Meet The Press will focus on Dane County as one of many across the country. While Dane County is a solid blue county, Todd says it will still be a bellwether on what Democrats are thinking.
"So what I'm curious about, is this frustration with leadership translate into a dampened turnout among young voters? Look, that's a recipe for Democrats to lose if that happens," Todd said.
You can watch Todd on Meet The Press every Sunday on TMJ4 at 8 a.m.