2018 Midterm Elections

Luke Kockler, Staff Writer

The midterm elections are coming up on Nov. 6 and will decide the balance of congress  for the next four years. The midterms give citizens an option to change the representatives in our area and also to get to vote for our senators.

Currently, the Republican party holds the majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, but that could shift after this election. As of Oct. 23, polls have shown close races happening in states such as Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. The midterm elections have also sparked a lot of debate between the two parties.

Fairfax County has seen close polling in many areas. Currently, VA Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, are both Democrats and have each served for more than five years. The House of Representatives members are move diverse having seven Republicans and four Democrats currently serving in Congress.

Tim Kaine is up for reelection and is running against Republican Corey Stewart. Kaine is the incumbent this election making it more difficult for Stewart to win. Stewart is running in Virginia, a state that voted Democrat in the 2016 election, making the race even more difficult for him. According to RealClearPolitics on October 24, Kaine is currently ahead having 51.5% of the vote and Stewart holding 33.0% of the vote.

Fairfax County resides in Barbara Comstock’s or Gerry Connolly’s district. Republican Barbara Comstock is up for reelection and her opponent is Democrat Jennifer Wexton. Comstock and Wexton have already had a debate on popular issues such as immigration, taxes and tariffs. They both have also sent out attack ads and the race between them is fierce.

“I think the importance of the midterms is understated,” junior Pehrson Timmons said, “They determine who can approve laws that go into Congress.”

The common issue for the midterm elections is that voter turnout for the midterm elections is significantly lower than the presidential election, even though it can be argued that the officials that are elected in the midterms will have more effect on the local and state level.                                                                                                        

“The midterm elections are the in between and they don’t really effect on anything,” senior Peter Bleicken said, “They are not as important.”

It is a fact that there are less voters for midterm elections than presidential elections but in this election cycle many people, groups, and businesses are trying to increase voter turnout.

Many students, whether eligible to vote or not, have seen that many popular social media platforms sent out announcements or had special pages dedicated to getting people registered to vote. According to the New York Times, Snapchat alone helped register over 400,000 voters from all across the county for the midterm elections. Most of these registers also came from places where the elections are very competitive.

“I think a lot of people are going to be upset,” Bleicken said, “and a lot of people are going to be happy.”

As of Oct. 24, according to FiveThirtyEight, the Democrats have a 85.8% chance of getting control of the House of Representatives, and Republicans have a 81.0% chance of keeping control of the Senate.