The 2022 elections don't just include the battles for the House and Senate control — 36 gubernatorial races will also be on the ballot. The largest chunk of these races happens during midterm cycles. After a raging pandemic and fights over restrictions, mandates, school closures and more, it's more evident than ever how much these contests impact voters' daily lives and will reshape state capitals.

Once Republican Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin is sworn in come January, the GOP will control 28 total governorships compared to 22 for Democrats. And it was that upset victory last month — combined with a closer than anticipated result in New Jersey — that has Republicans optimistic they can make further gains, especially given the environment and historical trends. Republicans are defending more races than Democrats this cycle, 20 seats to 16. Republicans also have 16 incumbents who will likely be on the ballot, while Democrats are preparing to bolster their 13 incumbents.

Given Youngkin's victory, Republicans are newly enthused about their 2022 prospects across the board, and rightfully so. At the Republican

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