BUZZ EXTRA: Editorial Assistant Johanna Pounds shares her thoughts on the 2018 Midterm elections

Johanna Pounds
Editorial Assistant
Northeast News

Although I try to come off as non-partisan as possible when reporting, in my personal life, I am a pretty staunch Democrat. When I was in high school, I was easily considered the most opinionated and political person there. Although, my small town high school class was only composed of 60 people so it wasn’t a hard goal to achieve.

These midterm elections had a lot riding on them. The Republican party originally had both the House and the Senate. Democratic policies had almost no chance in that situation, which made an even-partied government almost impossible.

As I was finding out last night, on October 6, 2018 that the Democrats were winning the house, I was thrilled. All branches of the government are important to the Democratic process, and having two different majority-run branches can make it all more balanced.

Although I was super disappointed when candidates like Beto O’Rourke in Texas did not win their races, I thought that overall the Democratic Party won that evening. Although O’Rourke did not win, historians say that this is the closest race Texas has had with a Democratic candidate in 50 years. Beto only lost by 1.7 percent. My question is, who exactly is still voting for Ted Cruz? I figured the guy is so much of a meme now, no one would take him seriously.

But still, for a historically deeply red state, such a close race almost equals a win for the Democratic party. It shows that the blue wave really has come. This wave could be the massive young voter turnout we had, with people including myself. For a lot of young people, this could be their first time voting. These young Democrats helped add to the success.

I’ve met Claire McCaskill, when I briefly interned for the Missouri Democratic Party. She was an incredibly kind woman, and although she may not remember me, we hugged. I felt like I genuinely knew that person in front of me. Although I am devastated by McCaskill’s loss, I was not surprised.

The loss was sad, but the Senate was already held by the Republicans. We only lost two seats, so the difference will not be that great when it comes to Senate-made decisions because they were already one-sided. Josh Hawley’s input won’t add much to the current conversation. So, as Missouri voted against right to work, voted for minimum wage raise, and lobbying reform, and although Hawley has oppositions against all three, his input won’t make anymore difference than it had before. Mostly, I don’t think people agreed with Hawley’s politics, they just wanted McCaskill out of office.

Kansas really shocked me, though. Although, as a born-and-raised Missourian I have always had some unnecessary competition inside me with Kansas, I am so proud today to be their neighboring state. Sharice Davids: a Native American, LGBTQ+ young woman beat out Kevin Yoder, a long-time Republican incumbent.  A huge step in the right direction for Kansas. Something Missouri can look at and admire. Although I was less shocked at Laura Kelly’s win over Kobach, I still think it is an amazing stride.

Missouri had a ton of wins for themselves as well. The legalization of medical marijuana, regulating gifts and money donated to politicians, and keeping Emanuel Cleaver in office are all truly amazing things for the progress of our great state.

Overall, Democrats didn’t win everything we wanted, but I think we can count this election as a win. The blue wave came, and next time, Republicans should be expecting a tsunami.

Letters to the Editor always welcome – and those with differing opinions will be at the front of the line.

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