The 2022 midterm elections were held on Tues., Nov. 8. University of Indianapolis Associate Professor of Political Science Gregory Shufeldt said he predicted this might be a big election for the Republicans before election day. However, according to CBS News, the Republicans and Democrats were almost evenly split when it came to winning elections around the nation.
“Historically, the party that doesn’t control the presidency tends to do very well in midterm elections or congressional elections when the president is not on the ballot,” Schufeldt said.
UIndy Associate Professor of Political Science Laura Merrifeld Wilson said that in-person voter turnout was smaller than expected on election day because a lot of people utilized early voting, absentee or mail-in voting. According to Wilson’s predictions prior to the election, she believed there would be more voter turnout than previous midterm elections.
“Is it a social issue like abortion or is it an economic issue like inflation [that matters to poll-goers]? They’re obviously very controversial; they’re very salient issues right now in American politics and, I think, because these are so important that’s why we see increased attention in this congressional midterm relative to what we’re used to seeing in your typical midterm election,” Wilson said.
According to Politico, there was not a “Republican/red wave” as predicted, for this midterm election. Shufeldt said that voter turnout was higher among younger voters than past elections and the reason there was not a “Republican wave” like it was initially predicted. He said that almost one in three voters was under the age of 30 but the overall total voter turnout experienced a significant drop compared to two years ago. In Nov. 2020, the turnout for midterm elections was 61% of registered voters, and Shufeldt said this year, there was about 37%.
Wilson said for this election at the state level, people are looking at legalization of cannabis, abortion rights, fireweapon laws, education measures and immigration policy. She said for Federal Congress, they are looking at issues such as inflation, healthcare, education, and abortion. Shufeldt said that there was backlash to the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion which was another reason why Democrates won more elections than expected in this year.
With Republicans taking back the federal House of Representatives, Shufeldt said the turn of power will likely prevent Democrats from passing any of President Joe Biden’s legislative measures and goals for his last two years in office. Relevant to students, he said that a judge has also temporarily placed a hold on President Biden’s plan to forgive student loans. He said that process would be played out regardless of who controls Congress.
Shufeldt said the Democrats won the Indiana State Prosecutor’s race. According to The Guardian, Democrats kept control of the U.S. Senate. Shufeldt said Diego Morales won the Indiana Secretary of State election and Todd Young won reelection for the United States Senator for Indiana.
“Tonight is going to be a great night for the Republican Party, folks. We fought hard. We fought hard and all the way. Because we have never doubted, we have never wavered in our belief that in a free nation with free people, anything is possible,” Young said during his acceptance speech on Nov. 8.“And our North Star has always been to bring along every Hoosier, every American. Because, folks, I know all of you understand the only way to make America great again is from the ground up.”
Shufeldt said Indiana solidified itself further as a Republican state. Voters did not change the Republican supermajority the state has and Shufeldt said he expects state policy to continue to go in the same direction.
Wilson said the easiest time to register and prepare to vote for 2024’s election is now at the Indiana Voter Portal at IndianaVoters.com. “Sometimes people see election results and they get discouraged or upset–perhaps they get excited–and missing out on one election doesn’t mean that you miss out on all subsequent elections,” Wilson said.