Taking place every two years between presidential elections, the midterm elections voting results can shape the future of the presidency. It is at this time that all members of the House of Representatives are up for re-elections and the 2014 Senate races will determine the membership of one-third of the Senate.
Midterm elections 2014 will also decide the fate of 36 governors as well as many important policies. Voting day 2014 is on Tuesday, the fourth of November.
If you don’t know much about American politics, let alone midterm elections, then be sure to check out Dictionary of American Government and Politics by Duncan Watts at Questia.
According to Watts, most existing members of Congress tend to get re-elected at midterms. “For instance, in 1998, 98.5 percent of members of the House and 90 percent of Senators again won re-election. Even in years when there was an anti-incumbency mood (1992, 1994), many more members left office through retirement than because of defeat at the polls,” Watts said.
The midterm elections are often used as a barometer to measure the president’s chance of re-election. For example, in 1994 the shift in Congress favoring Republicans was seen as a blow to the future prospects of the Clinton presidency. In fact, the Republican majority in Congress created a series of attacks that arguably hampered Clinton’s ability to accomplish his agenda.
With two years left to his presidency, Barack Obama will need all the help he can get in being an effective president. His ability to get things done has been hampered by a Republican-dominated House that seems bent on stopping him at every turn. If the Democrat-dominated Senate changes to a Republican majority then the next two years may be a disaster for the beleaguered Obama.
Key issues in the midterm elections
According to the Pew Research Center, neither party is particularly popular with voters at this time. The research organization published the results of a national survey of 2,003 adults including 1,494 registered voters, in an October 23, 2014, article, “As Midterms Near, GOP Leads on Key Issues, Democrats Have a More Positive Image.”
The list of key issues for 2014 includes:
- the terrorist threat
- budget deficit
- health care
Except for health care, the Republicans were perceived to be the better party to deal with the issue. However, in terms of who was more concerned with the needs of the people and in governing in an ethical way, it was the Democrats who won the vote of survey respondents.
The survey revealed that there is a lot of frustration with Congress and nearly a third of respondents said that they don’t want to re-elect their representative.
“Seven-in-ten voters who support Republican candidates (70%) and about as many Democratic voters (65%) say they do not want most representatives to win reelection,” the survey showed.
Why care about midterm elections 2014
In an October 23, 2014, post for Mashable.com, “The Midterm Elections Are Worth Your Attention. Here’s Why,” Colin Daileda speculated on voting results.
Here are issues to keep tabs on during midterm elections.
- Four states will be voting on whether to raise the minimum wage.
- Three states and Washington, D.C. will vote on legalizing marijuana.
- Florida will vote on whether to legalize medical marijuana.
- Two states will vote on initiatives that would define life as beginning before birth.
Lately, it’s the governors who are getting things done which is why it matters who wins in the various gubernatorial races. Take for example Wisconsin where Republican Governor Scott Walker is being challenged by Democrat Mary Burke. Walker, who has made noises about running for president in 2016, will have less of a chance if he can’t even swing his own state election.
According to Daileda, voter turnout at midterms is about 15 percent less than it is for presidential elections.
“The people who don’t show up as much to midterm elections tend to be younger and less white, meaning the electorate in 2014 will be older and whiter, thus favoring Republicans. This is the case just about every midterm election, which is a good bit of information to keep in mind to help frame the election cycle,” Daileda said.
You can read more about politics and government at Questia.
Will you be voting in the midterm elections? Tell us what you think of the elections in our comments.