By Luisa Chainferber
On November 2, four days before the United States midterm election, polls predicted that the Democratic Party is likely to gain control of the House of Representatives, reports the New Yorker, while the Republican Party will keep its majority in the Senate. The trends indicate a balance of power on Capitol Hill for the next two years, and the possibility of legislative deadlocks.
Democrats are expected to do well in suburbs and exurbs, especially in northern New Jersey, southeastern Pennsylvania, and Orange County, California. On the other side, the Republican vote appears robust in areas such as Texas, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Missouri. In these regions, GOP politicians like Ted Cruz, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Heidi Heitkamp, and Claire McCaskill are expected to maintain their seats.
Information from Pew Research Center indicates that voter enthusiasm has peaked since the late 1990s. This enthusiasm is considerably high in both parties, but the increase appears higher for voters who favor Democratic instead of Republican candidates. Pew Research Center also reports that more than 14 million people voted in Democratic House primaries, a turnout more than 2.5 times higher than the 2014 primaries.
CNBC forecasts three different scenarios for the midterm elections and ranks each in respect to likelihood. The first and most likely scenario is that the Democrats will control the House, while in the second scenario, the GOP will keep its majority in both the House and the Senate. The final and least likely scenario is a Democratic sweep. CNBC highlights that each scenario will result in different policy initiatives and implications for not only the political climate, but also the stock market.
If the first scenario becomes a reality, debates over topics such as a potential presidential impeachment, health care policies, big pharmaceutical regulations, and national defense spending are likely to intensify. This is due to the fact that these debates are critical areas of disagreement between Democrats and Republicans.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Democrats need to win 23 seats in order to become the majority in the House. The pooling for democrat candidates increased in the last two weeks prior to the midterm elections, specifically after the media started to focus on topics such as the pipe bombs sent to Democratic officials and the mass shooting of 11 people in at a Pittsburg synagogue.
In addition, Democrats have been spending more on campaign efforts than the GOP. Last week, Democrats spent $51.7 million on campaigns, while Republicans spent only $79.3 million, says the Wall Street Journal.
CNN reports that Former U.S. President, Barack Obama, gave a speech at a political rally in Florida on November 2. Mr. Obama stated that the upcoming midterm elections could be the most important elections of our life time, “Politicians will always say that, but this time it’s actually true. The stakes really are that high.” He continued, “The consequences of any of us staying home really are more dangerous, because America is at a crossroads.”
The Wall Street Journal reports that Tom Bonier, chief executive of TargetSmart, a data firm that analyses early voting, said that voting rates among groups that usually vote at lower rates in midterms, such as young people and minorities, has increased. These groups tend to vote for Democrats, and the early voting indicates a turnout higher than past decades for a nonpresidential election year. Mr. Bonier stated, “The biggest surges are coming from younger voters, nonwhite voters, more women than men. That’s certainly significant and potentially impactful.”
For students who want to vote, but attend college out-of-state, they can use Turbo Vote to know when elections are coming and to obtain information required for voting. Students may also sign up for reminders and apply for absentee ballots for the election on November