House & Senate in Republican Control as of Recent Election

aeshaBy Aesha Jones

November’s election gave the Grand Old Party control of the U.S. Senate and Congress for the remainder of President Barack Obama’s term. It was a big victory for Republicans.

“I feel positive about the change,” says Dana Jones, an accounting teacher at College of Southern Nevada. “Now they can no longer be obstructive. They will be forced to do something and will no longer be able to say it’s Obama’s fault. The American people should receive better service.”

Tony Talamantes, a CSN worker, says, “When Obama makes a decision, it’s going to be a little harder for him to get his point across because the House is Republican and he’s a Democrat.”

According to the Nevada Secretary of State’s website, of the 1.2 million active-registered voters in Nevada 552, 326 turned out to vote on Nov. 4. Less than half voted.

A poll of 26 CSN students was conducted during the week of the elections. Of the 26, two students voted. Many of those that did not vote were Democrats.

There are many opinions on the low voter turnout.

Michale Loughner, a CSN student, says, “I didn’t vote because I don’t know what the other people stood for. I also believe a lot of students don’t care. If you don’t vote, you don’t get to make a decision about what happens in your country.”

“Midterm elections always result in lower turnout…dramatically so…from elections held in presidential cycles,” says Robert Jones, a political science teacher at CSN. “The electorate in these midterm elections is a different electorate as well.”

“What has changed over the last 10 years or so with respect to the mid-term electorate is that this electorate has become more Republican in party orientation than before,” Jones says. Hence, the Republican Party has some advantages.

“Low turnout elections always favor the Republican Party, which is smaller numerically than the Democratic Party,” Jones says. “Further, midterm elections always historically result in lost seats in the House and the Senate for the party in power or the party holding the White House. Thus, those following the political world were not very surprised that the Senate was lost to the Republican Party by the Democratic Party.”

“Voter turnout in midterm elections is generally very low,” says Michael Hart, a political science teacher at CSN. “It fluctuated between 34 and 49 percent over the last 72 years.”

“The voter participation rate in midterm elections is neither declining nor increasing,” Hart says. “Rather, it’s oscillating in the narrow band of low participation rates.”

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