by AARON MEGAR
Yesterday, on November 4th, citizens in both the state of Maryland and throughout the entire country voted on many seats of public office that make up our government. Among these, the most important elections were for seats in the United States Senate, House of Representatives, and for governor in the thirty-seven states that held such elections this year.
While there are Congressional elections held every two years, this year’s election was labeled as a “mid-term,” where even though there was no President up for election it still demonstrated how the country felt about our current administration. And, unfortunately for President Obama and the Democratic Party, the majority of Americans do not feel good about how our country is being run.
The Republican Party saw great triumph in these 2014 elections, gaining a net total of seven seats in the Senate and thirteen in the House, shifting the Senate majority over to the Republican side and only further cementing their power in an already Republican controlled House of Representatives. These elections give the Republicans control of the Senate for the first time since 2005 and maintain their House control which they have had since 2011.
This election means far more than a new Congress though. It indicates an entire shift in the United States’ current political climate, showing that we could very well be seeing a Republican president voted into the Oval Office in 2016 unless President Obama is able to turn things around and generate support within the next two years. This is likely in reflection of how Obama has handled many issues in the past few years, including the problems in Syria and Ukraine last year and the most recent issue with ISIS.
This political shift against Obama and the Democrats becomes even more apparent when comparing the results of the 2012 election with Tuesday’s election, particularly in the Senate. In 2012, the Democrats won a total of 23 seats, greatly defeating the Republicans’ 8 victories. On Tuesday, however, the Republicans, as of now, have won a total of 22 seats, trumping the Democrats’ current count of 12. While it seems that both parties are sure to win another seat in the Senate (according to Politico, the results in Virginia and Alaska are yet to be confirmed), it is without a doubt that the right is gaining momentum heading into 2016, where they have multiple potential presidential candidates in Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and many others.
In most national elections, exit polls play an equally if not more critical role in painting the modern political landscape, and this year’s election was no exception. When comparing the CNN’s exit polls from the past two elections, we see that 4% less women voted Democrat in 2014 than they did in 2012, and that of those who identify as moderate, 3% less people voted left in this most recent election.
Seeing that, according to CNN, 37% of the country identifies as conservative while 23% identify as liberal, the moderate vote is crucial for the Democratic Party’s success, and in this election they were unable to gain enough support from such voters. The Democrats also lost percentage points in every single income bracket in 2014, and managed to lose 4% of their black voters from 2012 as well.
All of these exit poll results illustrate sharp declines in the Democratic Party and poor mid-term reviews for President Obama, who, though he is ineligible to run for President in 2016, is the face of the Democrats and his appeal to voters will hold a large baring on the success of the Democrats’ upcoming candidate in 2016, regardless of whom that is.
In more local news, Republican Larry Hogan was elected governor of Maryland over Democrat Anthony Brown, even though Brown won Prince George’s County with 84.5% of the vote. Hogan, a real estate business owner from Anne Arundel County, will be entering a Maryland state government that consists of a very left-leaning legislature, presenting quite the challenge for the incoming governor.