College Democrats on Midterm Elections
Ali Fernand – Features Editor
This year’s midterms were full of toss-up races and controversial decisions. Early voting, abortion rights and LGBTQ+ rights were all issues on voters’ minds at the polls.
Election Day was Tuesday, Nov. 8, marking the halfway point in President Joe Biden’s term.
“There’s a Democrat president in office, so Republicans will do better in midterms those years,” Vice President of College Democrats Nate Gross said.
Typically, with a midterm election, the party opposite of the sitting president will do better. Under President Donald Trump in 2018, the Democrats had a successful election year.
Many Republican politicians and commentators have been anticipating this midterm to be a “red wave.” This means they were expecting a sweeping victory to gain the majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“There’s all this talk about this big red wave that was going to flip the senate, flip the house; it was just never going to happen,” psychology major Thomas Robertson, a junior said.
Though Robertson was not shocked by the Republicans not doing as well in this year’s midterms, a lot of people were. This includes Democrats, Republicans and those who are unaffiliated.
“As a Democrat, I was shocked that the Democrats did so well across the nation during the midterms,” Student Government Association President Kyle Thaxton said.
According to the Associated Press as of Nov. 11, 46 have been won by Democrats and 48 by Republican. A party needs to win 51 seats to have the majority in the Senate. A few Senate races still have not been called. Nevada, Arizona, and Alaska are still counting votes. It is projected that Nevada and Alaska will be won by Republicans and Arizona by a Democrat.
“Although most projections reflect that the Republicans will have a decent majority in the House, many Senate and Governor races are too close to call or they are going to a run-off election,” Thaxton said.
Georgia will be having a runoff election for Senate between incumbent Raphael Warnock, a Democrat) and Herschel Walker, a republican. This is because Georgia’s electoral system requires a candidate to win over 50% of the votes, 2.1% of this election’s votes went to Libertarian candidate, Chase Oliver. If Warnock wins the run-off in Georgia, that will make the Senate a 50-50 split between Democrats and Republicans. If Walker wins, there will be a Republican majority.
According to the Associated Press, as of Nov. 11, Democrats hold 193 seats and Republicans hold 211 seats. However, 31 races have not yet been called. It is projected that Republicans will win the majority in the House of Representatives, but it is currently a tossup.
One of the policies on Connecticut’s ballot was early voting.
“Early voting is going to allow more young people to vote, especially those who may be busy with classes, assignments and extracurricular activities at their college campus on Election Day,” Thaxton said.
Election Day takes place on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Despite originally taking place on a Tuesday because of agricultural workers, Tuesdays are a workday for a large amount of the population. Early voting will allow those who work or have school on Election Day to be able to vote at a time that is more convenient for them.
However, early voting and mail-in voting has been a point of contention. Many believe that it leads to fraudulent votes.
“In the last couple of years, election integrity has been a big deal,” Robertson said.
Early voting was not the only contentious issue on the ballot. In Connecticut’s 5th district, the race between incumbent Jahana Hayes and George Logan was extremely tight.
“I knew from all the radio ads, the vice president visiting, the TV ads, that race was going to be close,” Robertson said.
Both campaigns were tough on each other. Logan’s campaign blamed the current high inflation rates on the incumbent.
The rest of the races for the many seats up for reelection in Connecticut were not as close.
“The most notable races in Connecticut were definitely the Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Comptroller and Jahana Hayes’ 5th District Congressional race,” Thaxton said.
Many of the races in Connecticut were won by Democratic incumbents. Most of these were races with people who have been in politics for a long time. They are recognizable to Connecticut voters, making it hard for the Republican opponents to win.
“It’s notable that the governor won by such a large margin, I think the governor did very well with COVID and in general,” Gross said.
According to the Associated Press, Ned Lamont beat opponent Bob Stefanowski by 163,777 votes.
“Voters showed that they don’t like the policies that Republicans were promoting,” Gross said.