Midterm Election Could Swing Balance of Power in Congress

Talon Smith, Reporter

All 435 US representatives and one third of US senators are up for election in the US midterms on November 6, 2018.

The midterm election occurs two years into the presidential term. In these elections, citizens vote for their congressional representatives and senators without voting for the president. Unlike presidential elections, midterm elections do not use the electoral college. Instead, the elections are decided by a popular, direct vote of the citizens.

In Pennsylvania, one senator as well as all 18 representatives are up for election.

In the race for PA’s Senator, Republican candidate Lou Barletta is running to unseat incumbent Democrat Bob Casey. In addition to the main party candidates, two third party candidates are running. Neal Gale and Dale Kerns are running as candidates for the Green Party and the Libertarian party, respectively.

Dauphin county falls into Pennsylvania’s 10th congressional district, according to PA’s newly redrawn map. The 10th district has two candidates running for US representative. The first is the incumbent candidate and Republican Scott Perry. The other is the Democratic candidate George Scott.

This midterm election will decide if the Republicans will remain in control of Congress or if the Democrats can gain control.

According to Ballotpedia, Republicans currently hold 51 seats in the Senate. Democrats hold 47 seats, with the remaining two being held by Independents.

As of July 2018, Republicans have control of the House of Representatives with a hold on 236 seats. The Democrats hold 193 seats, while six remain vacant.

Because Republicans have a majority in Congress, Democrats will have to win more elections if they want to take over the House or the Senate.

In addition to not having a majority, Democrats are also defending more seats. There are 25 Democratic incumbents, two of which are held by Independents. The Republican Party is only defending eight seats.

Despite their apparent disadvantages, it is possible that many Democratic candidates will be elected. Since 1934, the party of the president has suffered losses averaging 23 seats in the House during their midterm election, according to The American Presidency Project.

On May 15, 2018, Pennsylvania conducted its primary election. The primary narrowed the candidates running for offices in the midterm election.

Casey (D) ran unopposed in the primaries while Barletta (R) ran against Jim Christiana (R) and won by approximately 60%.

Perry (R) ran unopposed in the primaries while his opponent Scott (D) won against three other candidates.

Now that the gap after the primaries is starting to close, the midterm election is becoming more pressing. All of the candidates running for office will be starting or have already started to campaign.