Student activists on the midterm elections
Alison Fernand – Features Editor
The upcoming 2022 midterm election will define how American politics look for years to come. President Joe Biden’s term is approaching its halfway point and citizens are analyzing how he has fulfilled his campaign promises.
The focus for voters this year is party control in Congress. There are two focuses on the elections this year: the House of Representatives and the Senate. College students will be impacted by the results with issues such as student debt relief and voting rights being at the forefront.
“At the federal level, we have to make sure that President Biden’s agenda stays on track,” said vice President of College Democrats Nate Gross. “If we elect a majority Republican in Congress, there will be at least two more years of stalled legislation.”
According to NPR, Republicans are gaining popularity with voters. This could win them the majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
“At the federal level, I think Republicans will gain seats,” said president of College GOP Madelyn Dean. “That’s usually what happens at midterms when there’s a Democrat in office.”
The same thing happened in 2018 under President Donald Trump and in 2014 under President Barack Obama. The opposite parties gained seats in those midterms because they were able to run on the dissatisfaction that they were feeling under each presidency.
The hot topics that intrigue voters this election are abortion rights, gun rights, the Jan. 6th insurrection and the safety of America’s democracy.
“At the state level, we need to make sure that we protect the rights that the Republican Supreme Court is trying to strip away,” said Gross, referring to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade (1973).
The overturn of Roe v. Wade (1973) got rid of the federal right to have an abortion. This leaves states to be the ones making decisions on the legality of abortion.
“As far as the Republicans, this term we’re focused on finances and the economy,” said Dean. “We’re never going to win on being pro-life in Connecticut; it’s about being strategic with your platform.”
Politicians must adjust the issues they focus on to appeal to the voters in the area. This is specifically difficult for candidates running in states where their party is in the minority.
For the Connecticut local elections, Republicans have a harder time because they are running in a state where Democratic candidates are popular.
“Most of the candidates that are running are incumbents,” said Gross.
Incumbents typically have the advantage when it comes to races for political office. However, the candidates running against them can campaign on the issues faced under their leadership.
The election for governor is currently between Democrat incumbent Gov. Ned Lamont and Republican businessman Bob Stefanowski.
Connecticut’s House of Representatives seat for the 5th district is between Democrat incumbent Congresswoman Jahana Hayes and, a past member of Connecticut’s State Senate, Republican George Logan.
Dean said, “As far as GOP candidates, he is probably our best shot to win.”
Connecticut’s Senate seat is up between incumbent Senator Richard Blumenthal and Leora Levy.
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. According to CT Portal, college students can request an absentee ballot in Connecticut three weeks before the election. They can also apply for an emergency ballot six days before the election day.
Prior to election day, students can get involved in campaigns and share information on social media.
Dean said, “Always vote, even if it’s the day of and you’re Googling the names that will be on the ballot.”