polity : What-are-midterm-elections-in-the-US
Answer by Balaji Viswanathan:
US conducts independent elections for multiple bodies – House of Representatives (who primarily control medium-term things like the budget), Senate (who control long term things like foreign policy) and President (who is the head of the executive).
The election for the President happens on the first Tuesday following the first monday of November during every leap year. The elections for other bodies happen every two years with the same constraint [first Tuesday of November]. When the elections happen in a non-leap year, meaning it doesn't involve the Presidential election, it is called a midterm election.
2014 is not a leap year and thus the elections didn't involve the President. Thus, the battle was primarily for the control of the Senate and House of Representatives [in Indian equivalent, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha respectively]. Like in most of the rest of the world [Japan, UK, India] the past two years, the conservatives kicked the asses of the liberals. There is a big conservative wave that is running in every major country now.