An Analysis of the Midterms

November 26, 2018

Around 113 million voters across America showed up to the polls in the 2018 midterm elections, pushing the turnout rates higher than seen in any midterm in half a century, according to the New York Times.

“The turnout was a lot higher than we typically see in midterms,” AP U.S. government teacher Kenneth Spiegelman said. “Higher numbers in young people, which is always encouraging.”

Pushed by recent tragedies such as school shootings, celebrity campaigns and improved civic education, young people showed up in large numbers at the polls. Early breakdowns of demographics indicate that along with youth, unprecedented numbers of Latinos and women voted. Around 48 percent of eligible voters showed up to cast their ballots, compared to 37 percent in 2014.

“I think [young people] are finally realizing how important it is [to vote],” sophomore Anais Roatta said. “It’s such an interesting presidency, with the current presidency I think people are realizing we gotta get out there.”

In at least 41 states, turnout rates spiked by double-digits, according to the New York Times. Turnout in Florida raised by 24 percent.

“Florida’s a pretty divided state politically,” Spiegelman said. “Our state laws are set up so that if there’s an election within half a percent then there’s a computer recount or machine recount, and if it’s within a quarter of a point, it’s a manual recount.”

Rick Scott won the Senate seat in a race decided by less than one percent. He defeated Bill Nelson after a recount solidified Scott’s lead. Andrew Gillum also lost the Governor race by less than one percent.

“What we’re seeing is a more engaged citizenry, and that’s always a good thing,” Spiegelman said.

Increases in voters partly stems from some competitive races taking place across the country. In Texas, which experienced the greatest increase in voter turnout throughout the country, Beto O’Rourke and Tom Cruise faced off in a heavily anticipated race for the Senate seat.

According to the New York Times, it could be months before experts can completely breakdown the exact demographics. Democrats gained 38 seats, and won control of the House of Representatives, while Republicans maintained control of the Senate.

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