The Midterms

The Midterms

Nathaniel Doty, Reporter

On November 6th, millions of Americans will go to the polls. These elections are of particular importance because, in addition to all of the statewide bills and congressional races, it could well be a referendum on President Trump. On many major issues such as healthcare and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Republicans have either narrowly passed or failed. Should Democrats retake the majority in either of these bodies, President Trump may find it hard to pass legislation for the next two years.

For months now, people have been talking of liberally leaning suburban voters, women, and minorities leading a blue wave in Congress. Recently, however, as an NPR/PBS/Marist poll shows, enthusiasm among each party has drawn even at 82% for Democrats and 80% for Republicans. Behind these numbers remains the Democrats’ anti-Trump position and Republican new anger at, as Senator Lindsey Graham viewed it, “the bunch of garbage,” from the Kavanaugh hearings. With the Senate currently split 51-49 and the House of Representatives split 235-193, both in favor of Republicans, this elections is shaping up to be one of the most contentious in a while.

Here in St. Louis are three races, all important to the future of the Senate and House. Across Missouri, voters will choose between the 12-year incumbent, Senator Claire McCaskill (D), and up and coming Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R). Hawley has campaigned as the government outsider, fighting against someone who is, “apart of the old battles.” McCaskill, predicted by FiveThirtyEight to support Trump 83.3% of the time, has campaigned on “fixing and improving the Affordable Care Act,” making insurance companies provide cost-free contraception, and supporting renewable energy. Hawley has supported the Republican health care bill and tax plan has called Roe v. Wade, “wrongly decided,” and is in favor of reducing environmental regulations to support Missouri farmers. In the First Congressional District, Rep. Lacy Clay, Jr., (D) will go up against Republican Robert Vroman, and in the Second Congressional District, which includes the Burroughs campus, incumbent Rep. Ann Wagner (R) faces competition from Cort VanOstran (D). According to FiveThirtyEight, Lacy Clay, Jr., and Ann Wagner each have a 99.9% and 85.9% chance of winning their elections, respectively.

In addition to these races, there are several major ballot measures to be decided on November 6th. On the back of the Missouri voters rejecting Right to Work in August, Prop B seeks to increase the state minimum wage to $12/hour by 2023. Prop C would legalize medical marijuana in the state and Prop D would increase the gas sales tax by ten cents by 2023 to raise money for the state infrastructure agencies. Another measure, Amendment 1, would seek to regulate campaign gifts and contributions, restrict gerrymandering, and make legislative records open to the public.

With such a close Senate race and the national consequences of Missouri’s election, these midterms promise to be one of the most consequential of the past many decades.