Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Students discuss 2022 midterms

By Jessica Landman

The day following the election, Daniel Lake, associate professor of political science, hosted a discussion to review the campaigns leading up to election day as well as the election results. 

A large focus in this discussion was polling across the country and how it may affect the election. Polling is when a polling office calls people from all age ranges, states, ethnicities and any other defining factors to collect a wide sample of data in regards to who the recipient may vote for in the election. 

Lake expressed concerns about the polling process and how accurate it is.

“It is virtually impossible to poll me,” Lake said. “My home phone will go straight to voicemail and if I don’t know the number on my cell phone, I’ll ignore it.” 

Other participants involved in the discussion agreed with Lake in the difficulty pollers face in getting accurate numbers. This is concerning because these polls can affect who shows up to vote. If the polls show that a certain party should win by a landslide, then those in the opposing party may show up in fewer numbers as they will be discouraged, feeling as though their vote will not matter.

There is also the problem of people lying to a poller, giving the polls false data. Participant Genie Babb, an English professor at Plattsburgh, expressed her thoughts on exit polling as well. Exit polls are done in person when leaving the voting building, and she believes that people are more likely to lie in exit polls because they are face-to-face, and people may be wary to say who they voted for if the poller was of a certain race or ethnicity.  

Lake also focused on the demographic of people that showed up to vote this year. He said that upon research into the age demographics from voting places across the country, there was a significant rise in younger voters compared to the past several years.

A student attendee speculated that this rise in younger voter turnout may have been caused by the overturning of the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade. She believes that the younger generation saw what happened and wanted to have their opinions heard in government.   

The race for sheriff was on the ballot for Plattsburgh residents. David Farvo ran unopposed for the position of sheriff, winning the election and becoming sheriff for his sixth consecutive four-year term. 

In state elections, Elise Stefanik won re-election for New York’s 21st district house representative. All of New York’s 26 seats have been decided, earning 15 house seats for the Democrats and 11 seats for Republicans. 

Also in New York was the race for governor. Kathy Hochul won the race with a majority vote of 52.9% followed by Republican Lee Zeldin who ended with 47.1% of the votes. Hochul has been the governor of New York state since 2021.

Nationally, 413 seats out of 435 have been officially called for the Senate race. The Republican party holds the majority of seats with 211 and the Democrats holding 202 seats after the midterm election. This year, the Democratic party has lost seven seats and the Republican party has gained six seats. To hold the majority in the House of Representatives, 218 seats are needed.

The other national race voted on in the midterm elections was the Senate race. Each state gets one representative in the Senate. The New York race has been called, with Democrat Charles Schumer winning the majority vote with 56.4% followed closely by Republican Joe Pinion who received 43.2%  of the vote. 

There are two states that have yet to be called, including Alaska and Georgia. Alaska remains undetermined because there are mail-in ballots that still need to be counted.

The race in Alaska is different from every other in their undecided election. The two majority leaders are both Republican with the next closest candidate being democrat Patricia Chesbro, who has received only 9.5% of the vote. The front runner is Kelly Tshibaka, holding 44.2% of the majority followed closely by Lisa Murkowski who has received 42.8% of the vote. 

The final undetermined state for the Senate is Georgia. No candidate in this state won the required majority of votes, therefore, the election will go into a runoff election four weeks prior to the general election. The candidate with the lead in the general election was Democrat Rapheal Warnock with 49.4% of the votes. Following close behind, with only a .9% deficit is Republican Herschel Walker. 

There were 35 seats up for election in the midterm election, 32 of which have been decided. These results leave the democrats with 48 seats, the Republicans with 48 seats as well and other parties with two seats. The democrats gained a seat in the Senate while the Republicans lost one. 

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