The end of October is a busy time for NYU Florence students. Between late night study sessions and last minute travel plans for Fall Break, there is not much free time to think about anything else. However, back in America, the potential shift in the government should take a forefront in most students’ minds.
On November 6th, millions of Americans will cast their votes to decide which party will take control of Congress. In this election, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs while 35 of the 50 seats are available in the Senate. Each seat is precious to both parties as the stakes of this election are extremely high. If the Republicans win the majority of the seats, the party will remain in control of the government for two more years, bringing support and security to President Donald Trump and his administration. However, if the Democrats emerge victorious, there will be more resistance to Trump’s legislative proposals as well as more support for investigations of Trump and his administration.
Democrats have to play their cards just right in order to overcome Republicans in this election. Many races in the House are extremely close and the Democrats need to secure 23 open seats in order to surpass the Republicans. In the Senate, 26 Democratic seats are up for reelection versus nine Republican seats. This means that Democrats will have to keep their 26 seats while gaining two or more of the Republican seats.
Just like in the 2016 election, the media will play an influential role in who gets elected. Talking heads on CNN and Fox have promoted a partisan agenda. On social media, candidates are connecting with voters in a relatable format and are using it to publicize their candidacy. However, unlike during the last major election, popular sites like Facebook have started cracking down on the circulation of ‘fake news’ in users’ feeds. In the last Presidential election ‘fake news’ played an important role. Today, Facebook and other media outlets are working to mitigate the impact of “fake news” on the election. (Facebook)
Even though Donald Trump is seen as a controversial figure throughout the world, some American citizens are devoted to him and will do whatever it takes to help him stay in power. Trump has led a stable economy, as well as kept his promise on tax cuts, making him popular among middle class Americans (NY Times). His success in these areas may help the Republicans in their attempt to gain seats. Trump’s immigration policy, however, has proved to be ineffective and even deemed inhumane in certain quarters, especially when the media highlighted the separation of children from their families. The ongoing Robert Mueller investigation could also prove troublesome for the Republican party, especially if new information is leaked right before the election.
The world eagerly awaits the results of this election. If the Democrats win at least one chamber of Congress, it could be very difficult for Trump to get his agenda passed over the next two years. But if the Republicans win, one party rule will continue, further endangering The Affordable Care Act and continuing to accelerate some of Trump's deregulation measures. (NY Times)
After the results of the election are in, LPD will host a conference with top American political experts, actors and journalists on November 12th and 13th to discuss the outcome, as well as what to expect in the lead up to the 2020 elections. As of right now, the kind of legislation we want on gun control, health care, immigration, and taxes is in the hands of the American people as they decide who to support on November 6th.