Midterm Elections

Josie Spivey , Staff

The Midterm elections that took place in November provided a chance for new voters to learn more about their government and how this election will affect them.

In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott (R) was reelected, defeating Lupe Valdez (D). Abbott’s platform consists of a pro-gun policy, a position against ObamaCare, and a push for sanctuary cities as one of many solutions to immigration problems. Valdez’s platform was made up of a push for equal marriage rights for the gay community, “common sense gun control,” the expansion of Medicaid, and an immigration program that forms a path to citizenship. Though important, the race everyone was watching was the Senate race, in which the two main candidates were Beto O’Rourke (D) and Ted Cruz (R). Cruz ended up the victor in this race and Texas, therefore, stayed a red state, despite the race being very close by a margin of 2.6% percentage points.

“Texas is changing, but it wasn’t enough for Beto to pull out a win this time around. I think in the future Texas will turn blue because of changing demographics, but Beto wasn’t the right candidate,” senior Dylan Talley said.  

Though Texas remained red, the House of Representatives as a whole did not. The major effect that this election had on the United States was that the Republican party or the GOP (Grand Old Party), lost the majority in the House. They did, however, retain the majority in the Senate.

“The fact that the Republicans lost the majority in the House is annoying because now nothing will be accomplished with both parties constantly battling each other,” freshman Kayden Mace said.

The closeness of the Texas senate race, clearly indicates that there is an increasing number of voting democrats throughout the state.

“Knowing that Texas is becoming more democrat, is weird because it’s been a conservative state for so long. It just shows that Texas is changing,” sophomore Brooke Bailey said.

Politicians are not as likely to appeal to younger voters because statistically, they do not turn out to vote. The 1986 elections had the largest youth voter turnout of 21%, but the last midterm turnout was in 2014 and was only 16%. The 2018 midterm elections showed a greater push to get young people to the polls.

“It is important that everyone’s opinion is heard in a democratic republic. However, young people are easily influenced by opinions of others instead of facts and may not vote with intelligence,” senior Bruce Green said.