Parties Prepare for Election Storm

How each issue will affect the political parties’ bases

President Trump listens to Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. at her campaign rally in Nashville, Tenn. ahead of her midterm election bid on May 29.

Photo courtesy of AP images

President Trump listens to Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. at her campaign rally in Nashville, Tenn. ahead of her midterm election bid on May 29.

by Hayden Schrauff, Reporter

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Republican and Democratic midterm candidates rally their respective bases as the election date looms closer. Democrats look to take back at least one chamber of  Congress, while Republicans hope to retain their control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Both parties attempt to energize their bases by focusing on socially and economically relevant topics in the minds of voters and those that recently got the spotlight.  

Tax policies consistently influence how people vote. On Dec. 20, 2017, the Republican-held Congress passed a new tax code that, among other things, lowered the corporate and individual tax rates. Over time, this bill became less popular with the public and Democrats are likely going to hammer that point home because their base finds them unappealing. They are going to reinforce that the law is giving tax breaks for the rich while the middle and lower classes pick up the tab. Meanwhile, Republicans will emphasize lower taxes that mean more of peoples’ money will stay in their pockets.

The confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court left both Democrats and Republicans embittered and will be another key point in their final push to the midterms. Republicans inspire their base to vote by showing if they remain in control of Congress, they can get conservative judges like Kavanaugh in the federal court system. Democrats, on the other hand, continue to invigorate their base to vote by claiming they can stop those conservative nominations from going through.

The most galvanizing issue for either side in the midterms is the leader of the executive branch, President Trump, even though he himself is not up for re-election. He is the eye of the political hurricane around which current politics revolve. Polls indicate Trump is unpopular with Democrats and progressive politicians running for office will try and use his unpopularity to their advantage. They will portray themselves as safe keepers of American Democracy that plan on holding hearings and investigations to keep the controversial president in check. Republicans look to do the exact opposite with their base, which generally supports Trump. They will paint a picture of themselves as defenders of the president who support all his major policy proposals.

Typically, the party that holds the presidency loses seats in the midterms and this will likely hold true, though to what extent will not be known until Nov. 6. Recently, the generic congressional ballot has gotten closer between the parties and, barring some unforeseen cataclysmic shift in politics, will likely hover around the current polling numbers up to election day. Only time will tell which side can animate their supporters enough to capture the majority and which issues will strike a chord with voters come election day. Early voting data indicates voters with Republican affiliation leading those with Democrat affiliation in several key states, such as Texa and Florida. If you are interested in voting early or on Nov. 6, here are the voting locations for Collin County.