Midterm Mayhem

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Sabrina Liu

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40% of eligible voters vote in midterms elections, but that number is expected to grow during this year’s midterms. Along with the renewed political energy since the presidential election of 2016, social media has raised awareness of midterm elections. On November 6, America will have an exceptional midterm election.

You may be wondering; What do midterm elections even change if the president is not being elected? Quite a lot, actually. This midterm election can determine the future of this country. 435 United States House seats and 33 Senate seats are being voted on in this coming election. Outside of Congress, thousands of state and local officials are being elected this November, including over 30 governors. If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. Democrats are predicting a “blue wave” in which they will have majority control in the House of Representatives as opposed to the current predominantly Republican influence. Though this may seem like a hefty task, it will only take 23 House seats in order for the Democrats to have a majority in the House. Winning the Senate majority is much harder and near impossible for Democrats as of this election.

Not only is this midterm election notable in its popularity among citizens, but its candidates are extremely diverse. While women running for public office is nothing new, it should be noted that a record-breaking 257 women are running for Congressional seats alone. A staggering 940% increase has been seen in the success of female candidates in primaries since 1970, only 48 years apart.  In addition to this, many running for congressional or local offices would be the first of their race, sexuality, gender, or religion to be incumbent of that office proving that this is not just another midterm election. November 6, 2018, has the potential to make history.

Since 2016, many Americans have been unhappy with the political climate of the United States. This is visible through the annual Women’s March and the various protests throughout the country in response to a number of actions from the executive branch. A Democratic majority in the House would effectively block the actions of a higher up conservative power. However, should Republicans stay in power, the president’s actions will maintain its current path if not be expedited.

Over 50 million Americans live in politically competitive districts where every vote has the potential change Washington. With even fewer people voting in Midterm elections than Presidential ones, every vote is crucial to the American voice. This holds true to the carefully gerrymandered districts within states. Although they are tailored to benefit a certain party, those who perform their civic duty in this election will have their voice heard regardless of district.

Should the social media hype go beyond screens, this midterm election will prove to be one of great significance to all Americans.

Works Cited:

Flegenheimer, Matt, et al. “Everything You Need to Know for the Midterm Elections.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 Oct. 2018, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/10/02/us/politics/2018-midterm-election-guide.html.

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