What are Midterms, and Why is it Important to Vote?
By Devon Brandt
All over TV, there are campaign ads with District 3 Republican incumbent Erik Paulsen slamming District 3 Democratic candidate Dean Phillips for his hypocrisy and failure to pay his taxes. Who are they, and what is the goal they are trying to achieve?
These are two of the 28 candidates participating in the 2018 midterm election for Minnesota. The midterm election occurs halfway through the president’s term, this year it will take place on November 6th. On a federal level, all 435 US House seats and 35 US Senate seats are at stake. There is a special election to replace U.S. Senator from Minnesota Al Franken, who resigned on December 7th, 2017, and a general election for a new Minnesota U.S. Senator. In local elections, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Auditor, Governor and all 134 state house seats are up for election.
Currently, the Democrats are fighting to take control of the the U.S. Senate, but for that to happen, Democrats need to defend 26 seats and flip two of nine seats held by Republicans. Their chances of gaining control of the Senate are 20.9%, compared to the Republican’s 79.1%; however, in the House of Representatives the Democrats have a 84.2% chance of winning control.
In the Minnesota House of Representatives, Republicans have had control for the past four years, and Democrats are hoping to change that. They are shooting to take control of at least 11 seats, but aiming for more to allow room for error. Republicans will be fighting to keep control of the house by targeting DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) districts that voted for Republican Mitt Romney over Democratic Barack Obama in 2012.
Now that you are educated on what goes on during midterms, think about voting in this election or elections in years to come. Voting is important because it allows the voices of Americans to be heard. If you believe in stricter gun laws, or that taxes should be cut on small businesses, don’t just tell people about it, vote for it. This generation is the future of politics, and with as much power as we have to make a difference, we should use it to change and shape our country into what we want it to be. Don’t be afraid to get involved in politics, it’s part of being a free American citizen. For more information on your voting station, voting by mail or online (absentee ballots) and to see who and what are on your ballot, visit https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/ or scan the QR code.