Midterm elections have concluded in the United States, and results appear to be evenly divided among the two parties. Democrats will remain in narrow control of the Senate, with Vice President Kamala Harris expected to cast a tie-breaking vote in the event of a Republican victory in Georgia’s runoff election. In the event of a Democratic win in Georgia, Democrats will hold 51 seats in the Senate.
The House of Representatives, on the other hand, favored Republican victory. Currently, Republicans hold the majority with 218 seats, while Democrats hold 212. These divided results can mean many things for the future of government branches.
With legislation, the Republican-controlled House will have the opportunity to chair all committees, as well as make decisions regarding government regulation and economics. The majority Democrat Senate will have control over bills, and what legislation is brought to the floor.
This split Congress also means clashing between the two parties. Since the majorities in each chamber are narrow, it may become more difficult to pass significant bills and initiatives.
With such narrow control in Congress, individual members are more likely to make a difference in the legislation process, and intra-party debate is certain to occur.
Voter turnout for this election appears high, though still lacking compared to record-setting presidential elections. 46% of the voting population participated in midterms, which falls short of the 2020 presidential election, which held the highest voter turnout of the 21st century at 66.8%. However, it is worth noting that midterm elections usually see lower turnouts than presidential ones.
Younger voters had an increased turnout at the polls, with 27% of them participating in midterms. This figure represents the second-highest turnout of voters aged 18-29 in 30 years.
NPR reports that young voters actually helped decide the fate of the election in some statewide races like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, but 18-19-year-olds are not as engaged in voting as they were in the year of 2018.
Blythe Castille, a sophomore and economics major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, gave her thoughts about early voting and the efforts to encourage voter participation.
“I was pretty enthusiastic about the amount of early voting this time around. Also, some of my teachers allowed an excused absence if people showed their “I voted” sticker, and I felt it was great to support younger voters. The time frame for voting can be tricky for those who work or have school, so it was a kind thing to do,” Castille said.
Lawrence Sciambra, a senior studying journalism, shared his opinions about the election results.
“I think, like, nationally, the Republicans underperformed because they were still trying to get the Trump-like style candidates or the candidates that Trump supported in. So I think this January 6 made the neutral voter, like the right-wing Democrat to moderate Republican voters, not be so inclined to go for the Republican Party,” Sciambra said.
The future of the United States Government appears divided, and the changes brought by a split Congress are sure to be felt throughout the next two years. Detailed midterm results can be found at AP News.