By Danielle Babineau and Kobe Vergara
The anticipated 2018 Midterm Elections mark the end of one-party rule, introducing a divided government to a profoundly divided country.
On November 6th, 2018, citizens across the United States voted for the most publicized midterm election the nation has ever experienced. With the opportunity for Democrats to take both the House and Senate, this election was “make or break” for both parties.
After prolonged recounts were confirmed, results revealed Democratic victory in the House (233 to 200) and Republican victory in the Senate (52 to 47), maintaining the long-lived divided government. This change, giving Democrats more power to oversee the Trump Administration’s actions, is predicted to result in a deeper investigation of President Trump’s relations with Russia and a closer look at other financial operations of the current government administration that they believe to be at fault.
Although Republicans did lose control of the House, their control of the Senate remains. In one of the most closely watched races of the election, Ted Cruz retained his seat in Senate in his win against Democrat Beto O’Rourke, the Texan democrat minority’s once-in-a-generation opportunity.
Republicans also defeated the closely trailing democrats in Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota largely contributing to their win in the senate.
Despite these wins for republicans, the victories for the Democrats appear even greater, causing many to define this election as a “blue wave.” While Republicans retain their control of the Senate, Democrats have newfound control that will provide more power in decision-making, vetoing, and overseeing operations.
This win for democrats was also a win for many minorities. These elections introduced Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman elected to congress, Ilhan Omar,the first Muslim woman in Congress, Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, the first Native American women in Congress, and Jared Polis, the first openly gay governor, as well as many other ground-breaking feats.
Similar to the 1992 election referred to as “The Year of the Woman,” 2018 is truly a year for the women. Women now comprise 19.5% of the house with members from 34 states. 5 of the 85 women in the House represent American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and District of Columbia, symbolizing greater representation of all US territories.
As for California, Democrats won the majority of votes. Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, continues to hold her spot as one of California’s senators, Gavin Newsom wins the path to become California’s next governor by 23%, and Katie Porter narrowly defeats Mimi Walters by a mere 2%.
For the ballots, props 1, 2, 4, 7, 11, and 12 were voted yes, while props 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10 were voted no. Proposition 9 was removed from the ballot by the California Supreme Court.
As the current presidential administration has created much controversy surrounding areas closely associated with the younger generation, this election has particularly attracted young adults, resulting in a 188% increase in young adult voter turnout from 2014. The media has greatly influenced this increase by using enticing advertising techniques from ads popping up all over social media to videos spoken by leaders such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton urging all able citizens to vote.
With this year’s election being one of the first elections heavily reliant on young people’s’ votes, many students at Mission saw it as their chance to make their voice heard regarding the future of the government.
According to Matt Guerra, a senior at Mission Viejo High School, it was important for him to vote yes on proposition 11, “because it allows ambulance providers to require workers to remain on call during breaks. Before a person in dire need would have to wait for the operators to get off break, now they can be called immediately to help the person in need.”
Without a doubt, the 2018 midterm elections brought incredible change and proved that one of the most powerful ways to make change is through the power to vote.