Underappreciated Elections

The November California Midterm Elections

Attendees+gather+in+front+of+the+Anaheim+Convention+Center+before+former+President+Barack+Obama%27s+speech.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Sullivan, OC Register

Attendees gather in front of the Anaheim Convention Center before former President Barack Obama's speech.

Janet Han, Section Editor

It’s hard not to notice the Presidential elections that occur every four years. Every single person seems to talk about them: news stations, friends, family, random people on the street. Yet hardly even a portion of the same amount of attention is given to the midterm elections.

 

Recently, former President Barack Obama visited Orange County regarding these elections. On September 8, he spoke at a rally at the Anaheim Convention center. The rally was invite-only, with around 750 people in attendance (OC Register). During a speech at the rally, the former President addressed the importance of this “chance to restore some sanity in our politics,” encouraging people to “step up” (NBCLA).

 

This year, California’s midterm elections are taking place on November 6. Occurring every four years between Presidential elections, they are being conducted in states across the country. Unfortunately, few people- especially students- are watching them closely. But the midterm elections are actually a crucial part of the political structure of the United States government.

 

In midterm elections, a total of 469 positions are being redetermined within Congress: 435 in the House of Representatives and 34 in the Senate. Currently, all three branches of the United States government are maintaining a Republican majority, but these elections could possibly change that.

 

In the House of Representatives, Democrats could win the majority with 24 seats. In the Senate, they need two more seats to do so. According to The Financial Times, the former seems more likely than the latter- but of course, no one can know for sure. Sarah Chen (11) agrees with this, adding that

“the results will be surprising no matter what happens.”

 

A majority is certainly what Democratic former President Barack Obama hopes for. In a speech given during his visit, he “gave shout-outs to seven Democratic candidates” in California that “are considered crucial to the party’s efforts to oust Republicans from control” (NBCLA). Since four of these candidates are running for districts that include parts of Orange County, the county is a truly crucial region for the results of the elections.

 

The former President also explained in the same speech that the change would “make sure there are real checks and balances in Washington”. Hearing this quote, Alice Ding (11) commented that

“the Republican majority seems overwhelming” because “it gives them a lot of power.”

Clearly the current situation is also making it difficult for the two main parties within the United States to cooperate and communicate with each other.

 

While it is difficult to predict exactly how the midterm elections will turn out, it is definitely a good idea to follow the news on them. Not only are they an important event for all United States citizens, but they could have a major impact on future decisions within the government.