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  • Jon Dusza, News Editor

Midterm Elections this Week

On Tuesday Nov. 8, the Congressional midterm elections will be held throughout the country, putting hundreds of elected officials up for election. At stake this Tuesday, in addition to party control over governor mansions and state legislatures throughout the country, are the parties which will control the Senate and the House of Representatives.

One of the key races that will decide which party holds the Senate is in Pennsylvania, where current Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, Democrat, faces off against Republican television doctor Dr. Mehmet Oz. The two are running to fill the seat of retiring Republican Senator Pat Toomey. Throughout the summer, Fetterman seemed to be the heavy favorite, campaigning off of Oz’s questionable ties to Pennsylvania and what Fetterman claimed to be Oz’s lack of qualification. But concerns over Fetterman’s health after he suffered a stroke and a poor debate performance have brought the race to about a dead tie going into the weekend before Election Day. Being a seat held by a Republican, this race is key in the Democratic effort to keep and expand their control of the Senate, and a key to the Republican effort to take control of the Senate.

Another important race that is in a dead heat is the Senate race in Georgia, where incumbent Democratic Senator Rafael Warnock faces off against Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker. Throughout the summer, the race has remained extremely close, and that trend seems poised to continue into Election Day. Over the past few weeks, scandals surrounding Walker have come to light, including his paying for multiple abortions and trouble surrounding his being a father, which caused a blip in the polls toward Warnock. But that blip was short lived, as Walker pulled back to even in the polls in the final campaign blitz. This is another race on which control of the Senate hinges; Democrats cannot afford to lose Warnock in the Senate, and Republicans would love to gain his seat.

Those are not the only senate races which could determine control of the Senate. In Arizona and New Hampshire, incumbent Democratic Senators Mark Kelly and Maggie Hassan both hold slight leads over their Republican opponents. On the Republican side, incumbent Senator Ron Johnson holds a slight lead over his Democratic challenger in Wisconsin. In North Carolina and Ohio, the incumbents are not seeking re-election, but the seats are currently held by Republicans, and the new Republicans hold a lead over their opponents.

In the House, FiveThirtyEight projects the Republicans to gain a majority, which would probably make Kevin McCarthy the new speaker of the House, replacing Nancy Pelosi. Regardless of which party wins the majority, they will likely be dealing with a very small majority.

In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul is up for election. Hochul, who is facing her first gubernatorial election, is locked in a notably close battle with her Republican challenger, Representative Lee Zeldin. According to FiveThirtyEight, Hochul holds a seven-point lead in the polls, but that lead is unusually small for a Democrat in New York. Hochul’s Democratic predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, won his 2014 election by fourteen points and his 2018 election by twenty three points. With that context, a mere seven-point lead for Hochul is notable. Hochul is still favored to win, but this year’s New York gubernatorial race is as close as it has been in decades.

As far as midterm elections go, this one has been one of the most fearsome, with rhetoric around the campaigns being as inflamed as ever. Indeed, in these tumultuous times, any election will have a major effect on the lives of many.

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