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2022 Midterm Elections: How long is the term for a Senator?

Presidential and midterm elections also offer voters the chance to choose their Senate representatives though they are not voted upon all at once.

The elections on November 8 will decide the makeup of Congress with every House seat up for grabs as well as one-third of Senate seats.
Drew AngererAFP

Senators for the US Congress have six-year terms. They are divided into three different election classes so that one-third of Senators are voted upon each two-year election cycle; in both presidential and midterm elections one-third of Senators vie for the sets.

US midterm elections live online: Election Day | Latest news

The three classes of the Senate are specified by Article I, Section 3 of the US Constitution:

“Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year.”

At the 2018 election 35 Senate seats were to be voted on; this was the Class I of Senators, with Class II voted in 2020 and Class III for 2022. This totals 34 senate seats up for grabs.

Class III Senators were elected in 2016 for their six-year term. Each election cycle a different class is voted upon in a staggered fashion. Some of these Senators include the likes of Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Chuck Schumer and Ron Johnson.

There are a number of factors that result in incumbent US Senators winning reelection every six-years. Since 1964, 80 percent of them have seen off challengers to return to Washington DC for another term.