By: Rachel Spears — Political Editor
Races intensify and gaps close as the Midterm elections swiftly approach.
On November 8th, the midterm elections will take place in all fifty states and U.S. territories. This election season will decide the House, 35 seats in the Senate, and 36 seats for governor. This comes as political tensions continue to rise. Former President Barack Obama and various other politicians have hit the campaign trail in support of friends and fellow party members. The economy, the overturning of Roe v. Wade, a rise in Trumpism and election denial, as well as crime have been some of the main talking points for candidates on both sides of the aisle.
Some believe that this election will reflect a proxy war between former president Donald Trump and incumbent President Joe Biden. Biden continues to urge his supporters, as well as the growing group of independent Americans to vote. “I appeal to all Americans, regardless of party, to meet this moment of national and generational importance. We must vote, knowing what’s at stake,” he said.
GOP candidate for the senate, Herschel Walker, is gaining ground in his race against incumbent Raphael Warnock. He was marred by controversies surrounding his relationships when one of his former girlfriend’s accused him of paying for her abortion. Georgia voters, especially white evangelicals, still support Walker. “If you waited for the perfect candidate, you would never vote again,” said Leah Houz, a voter from Savannah.
The divide between Christians over abortion and other political issues is a mainstay of this race. Senator Raphael Warnock, who is a baptist preacher, has also gained the support of some Georgia Christians. He has pointed to Walker’s character and hypocrisy regarding these issues. “If we can’t trust him to tell the truth about his life, how can we trust him to protect our lives and our families and our children and our jobs and our future?” he asked his supporters.
Dr. Oz, the Trump-endorsed GOP candidate for Senator passed his opponent, John Fetterman, for the first time since the race began. An October 25th debate, proposed by Oz, highlighted some of Fetterman’s inability to process some auditory feedback following a stroke that he suffered in May. Following this debate, Oz’s campaign began to gain steam. 54 percent of Pennsylvania voters said they expected Oz to win the election, while 47 percent said the same about Fetterman.
Due to Pennsylvanian voting laws, absentee and mail-in ballots can only begin to be counted when polls open on election day. It is unlikely that the result of this election will be known on Tuesday night.
Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake holds a slight lead over democrat Katie Hobbs – polling 47% to 46%, well within the margin of error. Despite her lead, Lake has made claims about the 2020 election as well as the upcoming midterms.
A third party candidate in the senate race has created more uncertainty. Marc Victor, who is running as Libretarian, is said to be an important part of that race.
“I think it could be a difference maker. There are a lot of ballots out there, and if the Libertarian pulls a couple percent, it can have an impact,” Daniel Scarpinato, a republican aid to the Arizona governor, said.
Other Races to Watch
Races for the Senate and governor in Oregon, Nevada, and North Carolina also continue to poll closely and will be important to watch on election day.
There will be four questions on the statewide ballot:
- Question 1 will amend the state constitution to add an additional tax from those who have an income of more than $1 million. A “yes” vote would result in the amendment of the Constitution while a “no” vote would result in no change.
- Question 2 is about dental insurance regulations. A “yes” vote would result in regulations that would require companies to spend at least 83% of their premiums on member dental expenses rather than administrative expenses. A “no” vote would make no change in the law.
- Question 3 deals with licenses for sales of alcoholic beverages. A “yes” vote would increase the number of licenses a business could possess for off property consumption. A “non” vote would result in no change.
- Question 4 will ask Massachusetts voters about Massachusetts residents who cannot provide proof of legal residence and their eligibility for driver’s licenses. Voting “yes” would give those residents the opportunity to get a driver’s license but voting “no” would result in no change.
In the race for governor, democratic candidate Maura Healey, still leads republican Geoff Diehl by twenty percentage points. Incumbent governor Charlie Baker (R) has not endorsed Trump-backed Diehl but did endorse Anthony Amore, the GOP nominee for state auditor. “I really do believe that constructive friction and more than one team on the field is a good thing,” he said. Baker, a moderate, has offered support to the “right kind of Republicans.”
9% of Massachusetts voters are registered as Republicans. Michael Graham, a conservative commentator, explained how difficult it would be to rally GOP voters. “There is nothing [Maura Healey] can do to lose this race,” he said.