By: MADISON MCCARTHY / SPORTS CO-EDITOR
As midterm election results continue to come in across the country, the control of the legislative branch is still undecided. The Senate lies in the hands of voters in Arizona, Georgia and Nevada. In the House of Representatives, Republicans have flipped 12 seats with results still to be finalized in multiple states.
The Arizona Senate race is currently reporting 70% of the votes, and Democratic incumbent Mark Kelly is leading with 51.4%. In Nevada, Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is facing off against Republican Adam Laxalt. Currently, Laxalt is leading with 49.9%, with 83% of the votes counted.
The Georgia Senate race will go to a runoff between Democratic incumbent Raphel Warnock and Republican candidate Hershel Walker. Warnock currently has the edge by 17,493 votes. Georgia state law requires elections to go to runoff when the margin of victory is less than 0.5%. The runoff race will take place in less than a month, on Dec. 6, 2022.
Other Key Races
New York Governor
New York Governor Kathy Hochul was reelected, receiving 3,022,063, or 56%, of the votes. Republican candidate Lee Zeldin had 43% of the votes. With the win, Hochul made history as the first woman to be elected Governor of New York.
New York Senate
To little surprise, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was reelected, continuing his nearly two decades in office. The 71-year-old received 3,099,063 votes, 56% of total votes, while Republican candidate Jon Pinion had 43%, receiving around 700,000 fewer votes.
Republican incumbent Greg Abbott was reelected as Texas Governor. Abbott received 54.9% of the vote, while Democrat Beto O’Rourke had 43.8%. The margin of victory for Abbott was smaller this year than in the 2018 midterm election, where he beat Democratic candidate Lupe Valdez by 13.3%. The Texas governor has made national news more than once this year, including in the wake of the Uvalde school shooting, and for sending immigrants with buses to Washington, D.C.
In a highly contested battle, Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman defeated Trump-backed Republican Mehmet Oz. Fetterman was elected with a narrow margin of fewer than 200,000 votes, receiving 50.4% of the vote. The race received national attention when television doctor and New Jersey resident Dr. Oz announced his bid for the seat.
Midterm elections serve as a halfway report card for the current administration. Some of the key issues the Biden administration has attempted to address are access to reproductive healthcare, inflation, student debt forgiveness, racial justice and climate change.
Several states voted on amendments to their State Constitutions in order to address these issues. New York state residents voted on the Equal Rights Amendment.
The amendment will, “Build on existing state constitutional protections to expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression,” said New York Civil Liberties Union executive director Donna Lieberman in a statement.
Similar measures were voted on in Kentucky, Vermont, Michigan, Montana and California. Voters in Vermont, Michigan, and California approved amendments to protect reproductive healthcare. Government officials and citizens alike saw the midterms as a chance to protect freedoms that came under fire from Republican lawmakers after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Along with Reproductive healthcare access, marijuana legalization was on the ballot in five different states. Maryland and Missouri both passed measures to legalize possession and use for citizens over the age of 21. SImilar measures failed in North Dekota, South Dakota and Arkansas.
The state of Colorado voted for the decriminalization of psychedelics for people 21 and older. With 88% of the votes counted, the side in favor of decriminalization is holding a slim lead.