Seeing Red

Dem trouble leads to GOP victories

Although no major elections took place in Missouri this election day, results nationwide will continue to affect Missourians. The most closely watched elections this year were the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey. Both states were won by Joe Biden in 2020, but this November, both saw considerable Republican turnout. The Republican candidate even won in Virginia. America is trending redder than it did just last year, and according to current CNN projections, the 2022 midterms are no exception.

This red wave has been attributed to several factors. The most prevalent being economic concerns. Many Republicans have run on promises of fixing the post-Covid economy. Plagued by labor shortages (or as I call them, well-paying job shortages), many communities in Missouri and beyond are desperate for conditions to improve. Desperate enough to switch their blue votes to red ones.

I believe that growing Republican turnout has much more to do with problems in the Democratic party rather than any real Republican strategy. The moderate-progressive divide is growing, and it’s only causing problems for Democrats. Progressives were entirely excluded from all campaign efforts in Virginia. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez even said that she wasn’t asked to send even a single email. While some believe that Democrats are too far left, others share the opposite opinion, that they aren’t going far enough. Toeing the line isn’t doing them any favors. Many, myself included, are unsure of what the party stands for anymore. If the party cannot unite to pass important legislation such as Biden’s infrastructure bill, the “Build Back Better Act”, the lack of progress may keep blue voters home next fall.

With the Senate (and maybe even the House) in jeopardy, voting is even more important. Following the retirement of Republican Senator Roy Blunt, we will elect a new Missouri senator next November. If his seat flips blue, Democrats may be able to hold on to control of Congress. If it stays red, Democrats will have to hope another seat flips their way. When you control the presidency and Congress you control the country, so the importance of this election cannot be understated. For many of us, the 2022 midterms are our intro to the ballot box. The first election we can vote in. Take advantage of this opportunity and do your civic duty. American democracy is on the line.