We have a say, especially now, of what the mid-term election will look like.
In the light of recent health care votes, it’s been really hard to be objective and solution-oriented when you start thinking about what you can control or actually action on. Looking at the results of the House vote, the measure to repeal Obamacare barely passed with a pale 217-213 split (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/house-republicans-pass-bill-repeal-obamacare/) with all Democratic congressional members and a subset of moderate Republicans voting no. This not only was an extremely close call, but it exposed the fragility of the stakes of the 2018 mid-term election.
There is a lot at risk next year, and as constituents, citizens and human beings, regardless of political party identification, we have an obligation to ensure things moves towards progress, whatever the definition of progress is for you. Let’s break it down.
What’s at risk for the Senate:
Currently, Democrats and Independents in the U.S. Senate are only outnumbered by a 52-48 split, according to the Los Angeles Times. On one side, Democrats only need to win three seats to take over the Senate, and on the other, Republicans need eight seats for a filibuster-proof Senate floor. For either party, it’s about defending what you currently have on top of trying to gain traction to get those additional spots. There are 23 Democratic seats, nine Republican seats and two Independent seats up for election in 2018.
What’s at risk for the House:
This is the space to watch. It’s juicier, it’s more dramatic, and after that slim House vote to repeal Obamacare, it probably lit the fuse to a long journey ahead for Republican lawmakers leading to the 2018 mid-term election. On November 6, 2018, all 435 House seats will be contested. In the House, Democrats need around 24 seats to gain control with about 50 or so seats that might be reasonably competitive, The Los Angeles Times reported. Redistricting aside, defending the seats that parties currently hold will probably be a breeze. It’s those 50 or so that will be fun to watch. We already got a taste of that sweet, sweet Congressional action during Jon Ossoff’s attempt to “flip the 6th” in April. It fell just short of the 50% vote needed to put him, a Democrat, in a historically Republican seat, especially because the second highest vote-getter was Karen Handel who only received 19.8% of the vote – a shadow to Ossoff’s 48.1 percent. It’s another example of how constituents use special and mid-term elections to display their disapproval for the current administration.
Ways to get involved now:
Donate: If you have extra paper to spare, you can donate to a candidate of your choosing if they’ve announced they are running or if your district hasn’t determined who is running as of yet, you can donate to a district nominee fund which will hold funds for the candidate that will be running in your party. Early action can be a huge statement to political leaders in the House and Senate.
Be Informed: If you have been on any social media platform, you probably feel that we, as a generation, are more informed than ever. While great, you’ve probably also seen an onslaught of articles that claimed Hillary Clinton wire-tapped your Snapchat story and is selling information to the Russians. Because constituents tend to vote with their emotions, a mid-term or special election is a perfect time to voice your dissatisfaction. Don’t make decisions based on false information, have thoughtful conversations with your peers, walk your talk and do your research.
Register to vote:
Easy enough, but millennial voting rates have never topped 50 percent, USA Today reported. So go to Vote.com and register ASAP. It takes five minutes and it’s online (it can’t get easier than that). Go. Do it now. If you are 16 or 17, there are 29 states that allow some type of preregistration. You can check if you live in one of those states, as well as the qualifications you’ll need, at the National Conference of State Legislature’s website.
The mid-term election is going to fall on Tuesday, November 6, 2018; and while 2018 seems like years away, it’s only about another 18 months and a lot can happen in such little time. Don’t forget to check your registration cut off dates and put this in your calendar now.