The Midterm Elections

The Midterm Elections

Anya Miller, Staff Writer

Congress is under pressure to accomplish many important tasks during the next few weeks, while they still control all three branches of government. Officials voted into office in the midterms won’t begin their term until January, so the Democrats will be frantically trying to pass as much legislation as possible before then.

The midterm elections took place earlier this month. Midterms elections occur during the middle of the presidential term.  The elections decide seats for the House and Senate, as well as electing local officials, such as state governors, state legislators, city mayors, and other state level officials.

In a typical midterm election, the party that is not in power-the Republicans this year, since President Biden is a Democrat-wins the majority in congress. Not only was this Biden’s first term, he also had an incredibly low approval rating.  Leading up to the election, only 39% of Americans said they approved of the job he was doing. Polls and political reporters were in agreement in the predictions that Democrats would lose the election by a large margin.

Contrary to that assumption, the Democrats performed extraordinarily well in the midterms. Democrats won the majority in the Senate, and Republicans won the House by a few seats, rather than the landslide victory they had expected. This came as a shock to many, with myriad theories emerging on why it turned out the way it did. The leading theory is that former president Donald Trump is losing political traction, which led to his endorsed candidates doing worse. Some analysts have concluded that people cared more about voting to protect abortion rights and democracy, and ultimately those two sentiment swayed voters more than their dislike of President Biden. The Dobbs case-the U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned Roe v. Wade and allowed states to ban abortion-and the January 6th hearings investigating the storming of the Capitol, happened right before election season, so voters were hearing a lot about the threats to democracy and loss of the right to an abortion in the news.

Despite this, in New York, more Republicans gained seats than any other state. This means more seats in Congress went from Democratic to Republican in New York than anywhere else. Despite New York’s reputation as a very Democratic state, four congressional seats turned Republican. Still, the Democrats won more seats than Republicans overall, as expected.