Midterm Election Recap

Laura Doughton, Online Editor

By Laura Doughton

The 2018 midterm election was highly anticipated by Democrats and Republicans alike. With 35 Senate seats and all 435 House of Representative seats up for reelection it was an event watched by the nation.

   Prior to the election the Republican Party had a majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Democrats were hoping to gain the majority in one or both houses while Republicans were hoping to hold their position or make slight gains.

   The Democrats were pleased with the election results, having gained the majority of the House of Representatives. The Senate remains under Republican control, giving the Republicans some cause for celebration.

   This is an example of ‘pendulum democracy,’ the idea that in a democracy the political power will shift between two parties. In general, the midterms tend to swing the opposite direction of the executive branch. This can be seen in the midterms in 2014 during former President Obama’s second term where both house of Congress had a Republican majority.

   Senior Todd Echols, who is a president of Young Democrats, was a first time voter and believes that while the Democrats taking the House of Representatives was a major success, there is still room for improvement.

   “I am pleased with the results, but I still hope for more progress, especially in the Senate, in future elections,” Echols said.

   Civics teacher Joshua Campbell thinks a Democratic House will be able to check the Executive Branch better than the Republican House.

   “They (Democrats) are going to have control over all the oversight committees within the House of Representatives and those oversight committees are specifically for the Executive Branch,” Campbell said. “Now that the party in opposition to the president has the power of those committees…they’re going to be a lot more thorough in their oversight on the Trump Administration than republican leadership has been so far.”

   Although many are pleased that the Democrats have taken the House of Representatives there are some, like junior Annabella Schmidt, that are worried that a Democratic House and Republican Senate will not be productive.

   “I feel like everything will be at a stand still and nothing will pass for two years,” Schmidt said.

   Another aspect of the election that people watched closely was the Trump Administration’s response to it.

   “He (President Trump) and his team have been doing classic spin, trying to point everyone’s attention away from their losses and say ‘hey, look, we actually gained and picked up seats in the Senate’ without really acknowledging the significant losses they took in the House of Representatives,” Campbell said.

   President Trump also fired his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, the day after the election.

   “As much as the administration will say that they are unrelated, they’re absolutely related,” Campbell said. “That’s the president trying to take a news cycle away from democratic victories and focusing (the media) on what his administration is doing.”

   If one thing is for sure, it is that the government will be closely watched heading into the 2020 Presidential election and one party will not let the other get away with anything unnoticed.