Iowa

Recap of the midterm elections

The results of the 2022 midterm elections surprised many, as Republicans didn’t see the “red wave” they expected. History-making races in some states elected female and queer candidates to state offices for the first time, and states with abortion-restriction changes on the ballot protected the right. The candidates backed by former President Donald Trump have not won many of their seats.

“The midterm elections aren’t usually good for the party in power, but Democrats have made it through in many key states,” said Junior Tess Dorman, membership director for Drake Democrats.

Although election results are still in as of this writing, the Democrats have managed to retain a majority in the US Senate. However, the House of Representatives is expected to be under Republican control for the next two years.

Though Republicans held their ground in hard-fought victories, they did not see the “red wave” that enabled them to retake both houses of the legislature. Kieran Williams, Drake’s political science professor, provided a reason why the party has underperformed in elections this cycle.

“The primary process sometimes produces candidates who may appeal to a relatively select base within political parties, but then have trouble turning in the general election,” Williams said.

Williams’ reasoning explains why candidates who denied the results of the 2020 presidential election fare poorly. These right-wing views did not sit well with the moderate voters who took part in the general election.

Dorman said that candidates who highlight their extremely conservative views are almost more favorable to the Democrats.

“While [the] In the primary, the Democrats actually backed these far-right, Trump-backed candidates [because] they thought they were [going to] easier to beat,” Dorman said. “Americans see them as too extreme.”

While there was no major “red wave” in the United States, Iowa voters sent Republicans to all state counties to Washington DC and re-elected incumbent Republican Governor Kim Reynolds for another term. For decades past, Iowa was known as the “purple state” for voting for Barack Obama in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, but Iowa’s recent red wave may change that mind.

“I think we can expect to see the same Republican-dominated politics that we’ve seen the last two years,” Dorman said.

According to the Des Moines Register’s early election coverage, many statewide races have had a notable funding gap between Democratic and Republican candidates. During the gubernatorial race, Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds had millions of dollars more to work with than Deirdre DeJear, the Democratic challenger.

District remapping may also have factored into the results because, according to the Des Moines Register, it caused some incumbent state legislatures to compete against each other. Some newly created districts had no incumbent candidate. Republicans control both state legislatures, giving Republicans more control over future legislation.

In the Iowa vote, voters also decided on Public Measure 1, an amendment to the Iowa Constitution that supplements the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which severely examines and establishes all restrictions on the right to bear arms, that the law is not violated. According to the Associated Press, it was approved by a majority of 65.2%.

According to the Giffords website, an anti-gun violence organization led by former Congressman Gabriel Giffords, this change will drastically affect all future gun safety laws, such as: B. Measures to restrict the purchase of guns by convicted felons or domestic abusers.

In terms of how this will affect Drake students, Williams says the election results may have a direct impact on the opportunities available to students who want to work in public policy.

“It will potentially impact the opportunities students pursue for things like internships, clerical work, and possibly even work in human resources after graduation, depending on the party affiliation of the representatives,” Williams said.

The decision on where to apply would be up to the individual student, but the choices would be influenced by the results of the midterms.

Students will also be affected by possible policy changes made possible by the Republican majority in the state legislature, particularly related to abortion rights or gun safety laws.

However, the Des Moines area is not following the state’s majority as Drake alumni Izaah Knox and Ako Abdul-Samad, both Democrats, go to the Iowa Senate and House of Representatives, respectively.

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