AIC Yellow Jacket

Midterm elections: will young people vote in droves?

Andrew Bernucca, Staff Writer

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Many students who vote look forward to presidential elections, which occur every four years. While this is obviously the biggest election of them all and the one where it’s easiest to see the importance and get passionate about, it’s important to not forget about midterm elections because they are almost just as important.

The importance of these elections was highlighted recently in the Alabama Senate race where Democrat Doug Jones ran against Republican (in name) Roy Moore. Alabama had been a red state, dominated by Republican voters and elected officials since the early 90’s. The thought of a Democrat winning in the state was beyond comprehension.

Jones, just barely, pulled off a shocking upset. His campaign wasn’t complicated. He spoke of his past as a federal judge where he prosecuted three white-American terrorists and made it known he was nothing like Moore, who was a danger to American politics.

Moore, was a far-right Republican who had referred to native Americans and Asian-Americans as, “reds and yellows,” said, “9/11 was a punishment from God,” and wasn’t able to campaign in the week leading up the election day due to the Washington Post reporting he was known for making advances on multiple underage girls.

All that combined gave Jones a marginal victory with 50-percent of the vote, showing how hard it is to win an election as a Democrat in a red state. However, it also showed what many have known in the country. If Democrats are inspired to turn out, they win.

Jones’ win in Alabama is reminiscent of an opposition’s victory in 2010; when Republican Scott Brown won a Senate seat in the blue state of Massachusetts. He defeated the underwhelming Martha Coakley who came under fire for her attack ads during the campaign.

Brown’s victory inspired Republicans throughout the nation and gave them hope. They went on to take control of the House and the Senate and had landslide victories for congressional seats in states throughout the nation such as Alabama, North Carolina, and others. Republicans were responding to Barack Obama’s victory. Democrats have been responding Donald Trump’s victory, and need to continue to do so.

Young voters played a big role in this. The majority of college-aged kids are Democrats, or at the very least not Republican. However, they’re rarely inspired to vote outside of the Presidential election.

It’s your and our responsibility to change that. As it stands, the Republican Party still holds majority in the House and in the Senate but 2018 is the year to change that.

Massachusetts, known as a blue state, has a Republican Governor in Charlie Baker who is seeking re-election. Three Democratic candidates have already declared for the primary election in Jay Gonzalez, Bob Massie, and Setti Warren. John Kerry is a potential candidate whose name carries a lot of weight in politics. He’s a former secretary of state, senator, and 2004 Presidential nominee.

Elizabeth Warren-D is the current Senator running unopposed in the primaries and widely expected to win re-election.

Connecticut is a toss-up. Incumbent Governor Daniel Malloy-D has declined a third-term run and The Cook and Rothenberg have the gubernatorial race ruled as a toss-up at the moment. Susan Bysiewicz seems to be the strongest candidate for the Democrats so far, and the Republicans have a smorgasbord of candidates with Mark D. Boughton and Peter Lumaj leading headlining the declared candidates. Current Senator Chris Murphy-D is expected by many to win re-election as he seeks his second term.

New Hampshire is an interesting state as incumbent Governor Chris Sununu-R was elected after a long run of Democratic victories. Mark Connolly, the states former Deputy Secretary of State who, although he hasn’t declared yet, is expected to be Sununu’s greatest challenger. The race is expected to lean Republican, but a strong Democratic turnout would tip the scale.

These are just three states in the area where a strong portion of AIC students come from. It’s important for all students to register at least a month before the elections take place on November 6, to avoid any conflict. If you are unable to return home to vote on the day of the elections, you can get an absentee ballot. There is no excuse to not vote, and with school shootings still being a critical issue and Trumpism still very much trying to move forward your vote means more now than it ever has.

So exercise your power, and vote.

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Midterm elections: will young people vote in droves?