Election Series Part 2: Why All The Swinging?

October 5, 2018

Part 2: Why Do Swing States Matter?

Last week, we asked the question: Why should you care about the midterm elections? The reason? Because whoever’s voted into the Senate and House will represent you and your state for a long time. This week, we’re continuing the conversation by asking the question: Why do swing states matter? Ready to get swinging?

Ah, the good ol’ swing states. What are they, why should we care, and which of these states are in the spotlight in this midterm election? First, what are swing states? They’re states that haven’t traditionally voted Democrat or Republican. In other words, some election years, these states might vote for a Democrat, while in other years, they might vote for a Republican. Florida and Virginia are considered swing states, whereas California and New York are states that usually vote for Democrats. Got all that?

The bigger questions are: Why should we care, and which swing states are considered important for this midterm election? Well, right now, there are fifty-one Republicans, forty-nine Democrats, and two Independents that make up the Senate. Thirty-five of these seats are up for election, and twenty-six of them are currently held by Democrats. It’s basic math, but in order for Democrats to take control of the Senate, they’ll need to retain those twenty-six seats and win at least two more. Needless to say, Democratic candidates who are running in swing states are fighting hard to get these states to swing in their favor, while Republicans are fighting hard to keep that from happening.

By Original: Cg-realmsDerivative work: Ali Zifan (USCB) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
So, which states should we keep an eye on this year? Colorado, Missouri, Tennessee, Indiana, North Dakota, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Montana, Texas, and West Virginia.

But why are Democrats and Republicans such control freaks? Is it just about bragging rights and being able to say, “We won!” at the end of the election? Well, no. Controlling the Senate means having a pretty good chance of passing or blocking a bill from becoming a law. Like we mentioned last week, a lot of really heated topics have been, and will be, up for discussion, like Obamacare (universal healthcare), Roe v. Wade (a women’s right to choose), taxes, and education. Senators serve six-year terms, with an election every two years, but they have no term limits. In other words, they can stay in their position for as long as the people vote for them to be there. So yeah, there’s a lot at stake here, and voting for the right person and control by either party will make a huge difference in how things are voted on in the future, and what the country will look like in years to come.