It’s November 3rd, meaning that we’re less than a week from the 2022 Midterm Elections. We decided to create a guide because voting is something we’re very passionate about. We believe that everyone eligible person should get out and vote in the United States, which typically has subpar turnout.
In fact, in 2018 about 49% of the eligible population voted, which was higher than in 2014, where only 36% voted. We’re proud to say we vote for every office, from local roles all the way up to the president. But why don’t more Americans, especially young ones like us, vote? We plan on answering this question below, as well as providing additional election information.
What Are the Midterms and Why Do they Matter?
The Midterms happen two years after a presidential election. Most Governors, all members of the House and roughly 1/3 of the Senate are included. Historically, the party that doesn’t hold the presidency typically performs better in the Midterms. However, party control of the House, the Senate and the majority of the Governorships is up to us, the voters.
There are many issues people are basing their decisions on and a lot has happened since the 2020 presidential election. This election cycle isn’t just about the people in office, it’s about the direction the United States should take. Typically, older generations vote more. But did you know that millennials have more voting power than boomers? And more members of gen-Z can vote now than in 2020. These numbers matter. Young people must get out the vote because of how much electoral decisions can impact our futures.
A lot has happened in the past two years: January 6th, election deniers, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, etc. These are ally scary occurrences which shouldn’t be allowed to happen. But voting gives us a voice to elect the people with the same values as us. Every American should be for a democratic system that encourages every single citizen to get a voice. Use your voice so we can accomplish unprecedented turnout in 2022!
What Does Voting Mean to us?
“To us, voting means everything. It is a chance to have a say in who represents us and our ideals. It’s a chance to make a difference in the country and help contribute to a better and most equitable society.” – Rocking Specter
We asked for a quote about voting and Rocking Specter delivered a great response. In a democracy, voting is one of our most vital responsibilities and it’s a strong way to bring about change. Change doesn’t happen all at once but electing people who can make a difference is a strong first step.
So, what does voting mean to us? We each took the time to share with you all why voting is important to us personally.
Ben: “If you don’t vote, you don’t get to complain,” is the motto my tenth grade American History teacher, Mr. Cobbett, told my class. He said whenever a friend or relative starts whining about an elected official to him the first thing he asks is “Did you vote?” and if they said no, he would go “Then shut up,” which comes off as a little harsh but makes sense that a right that so many people spent so long fighting for, is now seen as a nuisance to some.
I didn’t feel a tremendous sense of pride when I first voted for president back in 2016 but there was some excitement. They had shuttles that took students from the college campus to the voting booths at town hall. My friend Travis, who was also studying American History, decided we should head over together. The whole ride over I kept getting overwhelmed with the fact that I was going to have my say in who was going to run the country. I kept having to remind myself that I was one of millions voting.
After we left, we proudly flaunted our “I voted” stickers around campus. Each of my professors gave a nice congratulations to all the students who went that day and made sure to tell those who hadn’t gone yet to get to the polls before they closed. Voting is certainly not the most exciting thing in the world in the same way that drinking clean water from the faucet isn’t very exciting. But when you stop to think about all the work people have had to put in before you, and all the countries that still don’t have it, it does make you feel pretty thankful for it.
Christy: Voting was an important part of my childhood. My dad would always take me to vote with him when I was a kid and even let me wear the “I voted” sticker. I remember staying up late on election nights as he explained the electoral college and the different branches of government. Unlike many young Americans, I couldn’t wait to vote for the first time, which happened to be a gubernatorial race.
Since then, I’ve remained active in politics. I never questioned whether or not to vote and am the type of person to read a candidate’s platform. My childhood definitely shaped this point of view, where I learned about countries who don’t have free and fair elections. It’s a privilege that we get this chance to vote.
When I hear people say they don’t vote, my first thought is that they are privileged, because clearly, they don’t believe elected officials impact their lives. Then there are the people who show up to the polls and write in joke answers. It must be nice not to worry, but I don’t have that privilege to not care and neither do a lot of my friends. As a woman, I believe in my right to choose, which is essential healthcare. I worry about the right of my friends to marry whomever they want. I worry about friends who are people of color getting targeted by hate crimes. I worry for all the people who are being told misinformation about voting so less people show up. If these issues don’t matter to you, you’re not paying attention.
A Guide to the Election
Who is up for reelection this year? All 435 members of the House of Representatives, 35 U.S Senators and 36 Governors. However, there might be more people on the ballot depending on which state you reside in. Check out a sample ballot online to learn more about your individual jurisdiction.
Also, pay attention to the polls, but take them with a grain of salt. Polls aren’t always accurate so don’t let them dissuade you from voting. Besides, it seems like young people are the least likely to be polled/represented in these studies.
Races to Watch
The results of the races listed below will be close. This is most important regarding the U.S. Senate because either party could take control. It’ll come down to a few states. As for the 36 Governor races, these are essential for state policies. We don’t live in a state with an election this year. However, if you do, it’s essential that you get out and vote. We didn’t include the House races because there are 435 of them happening. However, please research your district and get out to vote. You may live in a swing district with a tight race. In these situations, one vote makes a huge difference.
Is Arizona turning into a blue state? It very well could be. Incumbent Mark Kelly (D) is running against Blake Masters (R). The race will be a close one and could play a huge role in deciding the fate of the Senate.
Is Florida officially a red state? That fact is debatable, even though it’s steadily been getting redder since 2014. Still, President Biden has been campaigning for Val Demmings (D) to unseat Marco Rubio (R).
Georgia played a huge role in the last battle for Senate control and it does again in 2022. Like Arizona, Georgia could also be the deciding factor. Some polls have the race tied between incumbent Raphael Warnock (D) and challenger Herschel Walker (R).
Catherine Cortez Masto (D), is hoping to hold onto her seat. However, according to polls, she’s only ahead of Adam Laxalt (R) by a single point. Thus, making Nevada a state to watch on election night.
While Ohio has been leaning redder the past few election cycles, Tim Ryan (D) remains hopeful after scoring an endorsement for Liz Cheney. Cheney supports Ryan over his challenger, JD Vance (R).
Pennsylvania’s Senate elections made national headlines because of the close race. After a debate between the candidates last week John Fetterman (D) holds a slight lead over his opponent Mehmet Oz (R). Most people have heard of Dr. Oz before, which is another reason this race gets national attention.
Incumbent Ron Johnson (R) is someone Democrats would like to see gone. However, he holds a small lead over Mandela Barnes (D). The race is tightening, so a lot can happen in a few days.
Like its Senate race, Arizona has a tight race for Governor as well. Katie Hobbs (D) and Kari Lake (R) are running for Doug Ducey’s (R) opening seat. Right now, all major pollsters list the race as a toss-up.
While Biden has been in Florida this week, we’re not sure if he can stop Ron DeSantis (R) from winning reelection. We do have hope though for Charlie Crist (D). But DeSantis is using this campaign to start preparing for a 2024 run for president, meaning it’s just a steppingstone.
Beto O’Rourke (D) is facing an uphill battle in Texas against incumbent Govenor Greg Abbott (R). It’s looking less likely for O’Rourke to unseat Abbott. However, it’s not impossible. Texas has been a battleground for issues like abortion and gun safety. It depends on who goes to the polls come election day.
Tim Michels (R) and Tony Evers (D) face a tight race in Wisconsin, where it looks like there’s roughly a percentage point between them. Similar to the Senate race in Wisconsin, this election will be close. However, there’s been questions if the same party will take the Senate and Govenor position. Will there be split-ticket voting? It’s hard to tell.