by Mikaela Gantz
All of the votes for the United States House of Representatives and Senate, with the exception of a runoff election in Georgia, have officially been counted. Here is a summary of how Americans used their civic rights this November.
There was no “red wave” of conservative candidates winning en masse which came as a shock to many political analysts. The Senate was maintained by the Democrats which proved to be a huge upset for the GOP. The Georgia Senate race between Hershel Walker and Raphael Warnock is going to a runoff election since neither candidate reached the 50% majority threshold. This means that the Georgia Senate seat will not be decided until mid-December. This election could give a true majority to the left with 51 seats, assuming that independent senators Bernie Sanders and Angus King will continue to side with Democrats. However, there will be no true majority in the Senate with either party having more than 50 seats under its wing.
There were three other key states analysts were watching in the Senate: Arizona, Pennsylvania and Nevada. Pennsylvania was a huge win for Democrats, with John Fetterman flipping the Pennsylvania seat. Democrats also held Arizona and Nevada, allowing them to maintain their coalition majority.
The House of Representatives was flipped to Republican control, but not in the landslide that was predicted. Republicans only won the house by a surplus of 9 seats, a 222-213 majority. For reference, many analysts were predicting a surplus of between 20-30 seats. Even though Republicans won the House, it did not come in the means that they had hoped.
In a win for young Americans, the first member of Generation Z was elected to the United States Congress. 25-year-old Maxwell Frost will be representing Florida’s 10th district. The first openly-lesbian governors made history, Maura Healey and Tina Kotek, as they were elected in Massachussets and Oregon, respectively. Following former Speaker Pelosi’s announcement that she would be stepping down from House leadership, Democrats elected Hakeem Jeffries to serve as their next party leader. Jeffries makes history as the first Black lawmaker to serve in leadership for a major party in Congress.
Overall, the midterms were a clear indicator of the public’s stance on certain issues. Abortion, what analysts knew was going to a be a hot topic, was even more important than predicted. Young voters and female voters had a huge impact on the midterms. Young voters voted strongly Democratic in some key races across the country and allowed Democrats to win key seats. This goes to show, your vote is your voice, and our generation does have a substantial impact.