2018 Midterm Elections: What Is At Stake?

Courtesy of Bustle

Peter Beckstrom, Sentry Staff Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Much is at stake in the 2018 midterm elections. For Democrats, it means blocking President Donald J. Trump’s controversial agenda and taking both the House and Senate this November. Conservatives are hopeful that they can remain in control of Congress and keep Trump’s current policies active.

One key issue for voters in November is healthcare. For some, overturning Roe v. Wade, a case that made abortion legal in the first trimester of pregnancy, is one of the important changes they want to see. Other ballot initiatives voters are facing include gun control, the economy and immigration.

Historically speaking, a large percentage of American people do not vote in the midterms; according to The Washington Post, only 36.4% of eligible voters participated in the midterm elections in 2014. This was the lowest turnout since 1936. Both political parties hope that the vote next week turns out differently.

Social Studies teacher and Teenage Republicans sponsor Jon Schildknecht had insight on how to trust general election polling.

“While I don’t believe that any one poll is useful, looking at many polls from different polling companies can give you an idea of how a specific election is going, especially when used over an extended period of time,” Schildknecht said.

Currently, the Republicans have the majority in both the Senate and the House. When they vote on an issue or bill, they usually vote ‘the party line,’ which means the majority rules. With the House, Senate and the Executive Branch all Republican, key votes have all gone to the Republican side. Teenage Republicans member Jonathan Short had some predictions if this will continue.

I think the Democrats will take control of the House but I think the Republicans will gain seats in the Senate, increasing their majority there,” Short said.

In current times, media is often accused of being misleading. In the 2016 presidential election, many people believed that the media played a large role in which side individuals voted for. Two years later, it continues to affect our nation’s political views.

Media bias is an issue. If you listen to news from opposite sides of the spectrum, it can feel like they are talking about entirely different realities …. I make an effort to read a sampling from a wide variety of other sources. I follow dozens of news outlets on Twitter,” Spanish teacher and Young Democrats sponsor Teresa Cordova said.

Many Republicans were unhappy with President Obama’s administration and that is why there was a backlash with voters in 2016. Coming November, this may prove to be the case on the other side now: Democrats are unhappy with the Trump administration passing bills they do not agree with. Right after Trump was elected, there was hope within the Democratic party that they would be able to block his agenda. However, this has not been the case.

However, senior Caroline Platt, the president of Young Democrats, has not lost hope.

“The Young Dems … are knocking on doors throughout [Northern Virginia] to get our voice heard on issues that we care about such as gun law reform, healthcare, women’s reproductive rights, LGBT issues and environmental issues. We also have attended events for Democrats running for School Board and County Board in order to show support for local elections. The midterm elections are crucial because we have a chance to flip the House and Senate and by campaigning for candidates we believe in, we, as students who can’t even vote yet are having a say in the future of our country because it is our future,” Platt said.

Many political clubs around the country are active in this election.

“We will increase the canvassing efforts, pass out flyers and work the polls on Election Day to make sure our young voices are heard up until the polls close on November 6,” Platt said.

Elections can be stressful on both sides, and people often worry how it will affect our nation. Regardless of the outcome, it is important to exercise the right to vote and to make sure the voice of America is heard tomorrow.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email