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The Foreign Press Center’s Virtual Briefing Series on the 2022 U.S. Midterm Elections provides background, context, and access to non-government experts in the run-up to the 2022 midterms in November.  We are pleased to offer this virtual series to enable selected journalists to remotely cover the 2022 U.S. elections by providing access to authoritative sources for an inclusive discussion of the electoral process in the United States. Transcripts are available below for all elections-related briefings in the series.

The views expressed by briefers not affiliated with the Department of State or U.S. government are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. government. Participation in Foreign Press Center programming by briefers not affiliated with the Department of State or U.S. government does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation of their views.


Education touches almost every household in the United States, whether as taxpayers or as parents, but education rarely makes it to the top of voter’s stated priorities. COVID-related school closures and conversations about how diversity is addressed in schools have brought education into new prominence as a voter priority in recent elections. Jeffrey R. Henig is Professor of Political Science and Education at Teachers College and Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. His is an expert on urban politics, racial politics, and school reform, and author or co-author of twelve books, including The Color of School Reform: Race, Politics and the Challenge of Urban Education and Building Civic Capacity: The Politics of Reforming Urban Schools, and Outside Money in School Board Elections: The Nationalization of Education Politics (2019). His writings on contemporary policy issues have appeared in Education Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Boston Globe; Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and The New York Times.  

This briefing discusses recent research on the relationship between faith, religious beliefs, and politics, their influence on voting and political participation, and potential role in the 2022 midterms.  Briefer David Campbell is the Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame and the former chairperson of the political science department.  His research addresses civic and political engagement with a particular focus on religion and secularism, and young people.  His most recent book is Secular Surge: A New Fault Line in American Politics.  He is also the co-author of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, and Why We Vote: How Schools and Communities Shape Our Civic Life.  He has published scholarly articles in a variety of journals.

In this briefing, Mohamed Younis, Editor in Chief, Gallup, discusses the latest indicators, trends and issues that will put the 2022 U.S. midterm elections into context, including: new data from Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index, the latest polling on what Americans view as “the most important problem” facing the nation, presidential job approval, and Americans’ satisfaction with the direction of the country.

In this briefing, journalists heard from two leading U.S. experts dedicated to providing accurate and objective information about U.S. elections.  Dr. Kathleen Hall Jamieson, professor of communication at University of Pennsylvania and co-founder of FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and Angie Drobnic Holan, editor in chief of PolitiFact, a project of the Poynter Institute, discussed the role of fact checking in countering the misinformation that distorts political processes and hinders citizens’ ability to make sound voting decisions.  They also provided an overview of tools and fact-checking resources for journalists reporting on the midterms that are available through PolitiFact and FactCheck.org. 

In this briefing, Mohamed Younis, Editor in Chief, Gallup, discusses the latest indicators, trends and issues that will put the 2022 U.S. midterm elections into context, including: new data from Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index, the latest polling on what Americans view as “the most important problem” facing the nation, presidential job approval, and Americans’ satisfaction with the direction of the country.

To kick off the Foreign Press Centers’ 2022 Midterm Elections Series, this briefing helps journalists understand the unique demographic factors and voting blocs in the American electorate today.  The briefing also explores key findings from Pew Research Center‘s recently released 2021 political typology report, which analyzes the diversity of views that exist within both Republican and Democratic partisan coalitions, and highlights the fact that many Americans do not fit easily into either one.  Briefer Bradley Jones, is a Senior Researcher for Pew Research Center where he primarily works on U.S. public opinion about politics. 

Redistricting, the process of drawing electoral district boundaries, takes place in the United States following the completion of each decennial census, to account for population shifts.  The rules for redistricting vary from state to state, but all states draw new legislative maps either in the state legislature, in redistricting commissions, or through some combination of the two.  Rebecca Green, Professor of Law at the College of William and Mary, and Co-Director of the Election Law program, is an expert on election law, legislative redistricting, and redistricting transparency.  She has served on the bipartisan National Task Force on Election Crises and provided research support for the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.  She explains the various approaches to redistricting at the state level from a legal perspective, and the current status of redistricting efforts.

Icons of Voting Rights
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Throughout U.S. history, civil rights leaders past and present have fought to ensure that the freedom to vote is a fundamental right for everyone.  Civil rights icons such as Ida B. Wells, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Fannie Lou Hamer were instrumental in laying the foundation for securing and maintaining the right to vote for African Americans, culminating in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought many changes to the voting process in 2020, and many new voting laws, raising new questions about the future of voting rights in the United States. Dr. Keisha N. Blain, an award-winning historian and expert on the U.S. civil rights movement, provides a historical overview of icons of voting rights and the Voting Rights Act, while contextualizing their continuing relevance for contemporary voting rights issues today.  Her new book Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America, explores how Hamer’s ideas remain salient for a new generation of racial justice advocates.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future