On November 6, record numbers of voters turned out to cast their vote for their congressional representatives. These midterm elections have made history in that 16% of voters were first-time voters. Also, an estimated 113 million people participated in this years’ elections, making this the first midterm in history to exceed over 100 million votes, with 49 percent of eligible voters participating in the election. Voter turnout has not been this high since the 1960’s. Though most voters are primarily focused on issues within their state the 2018 voters seemed more motivated by the President’s political positions and were casting votes with national politics in mind as well as local issues.
This was true for us here in Texas as well. Democrat Beto O’Rourke ran the most expensive campaign in history spending over 70 million dollars. He came close to winning against Texas Senator Ted Cruz, but while Beto was well-liked, especially by many young people, he proved too radical for even undecided Texans. Moreover, Texans have not voted a Democrat into office in 24 years. A key issue important to Texas voters and an issue that divided the two candidates was immigration and the desire for stricter borders and enforcement of legal immigration. A democratic sweep had been predicted by many; however, while Democrats have taken over the house (for the first time in eight years), Republicans have maintained control of the Senate. Republican Ted Cruz is a supporter of border control and will continue to be a voice for Texas in Congress.
Across the United States, these national issues such as immigration, health care, and the economy were forcing convicted voters to the polls. These days many say they were motivated to vote by either wanting to support or to refute President Trump’s political agenda. This shows that voters were not just thinking about their state when voting for their state representative, but the future of their country.
Whether it was President Trump and his agenda or passion for issues affecting families and citizens – the politics and policies of our time drove voters to the ballot in historic numbers. Many experts say that the president had an unprecedented effect on the polls this election. While the nation is divided over many issues and among conservatives and liberals, one thing that seemed to unite us was a common opinion that showing up to vote and making our voices heard matters.