Unusual political climate center of 2022 midterms


Joseph Zuloaga '23

Democrats and Republicans will face off for the upcoming midterms.

Joseph Zuloaga '23, Editor in Chief

‘Tis the season…election season. The midterm elections in November are approaching, with both parties seeking control of Congress for the remainder of President Joe Biden’s term.

On Nov. 8, voters will cast their votes to elect all 435 members of the House and 35 of the 100 senators. It’s been an extremely contentious election cycle, with both Democrats and Republicans clashing with each other with partisan rhetoric for every single vote.

Biden and the Democrats are fighting to keep their slim majority in both the House and the Senate, with abortion and right wing extremism being their banner issue as they head into Election Day. 

The GOP, on the other hand, is looking to make this election a referendum on the Biden administration, citing inflation, crime, and illegal immigration as reasoning as to why the balance of power needs to favor them. The war in Ukraine and the threat of nuclear armageddon between Putin and Biden has also made headlines. Therefore, many analysts have labeled this “the most consequential election in history.”

However, AP Government and Politics instructor Jeff Isola ’98 dislikes this constant label placed on elections. He commented, “2020 didn’t give Democrats a sustainable majority, plus midterm elections are more important than presidential since voters have a chance to vote on individuals that make laws.” 

Isola highlights, “We lose sight as to where the policy starts–it’s in Congress, not the White House.”

For AP Government student Pebble Ekhaus ’23, the midterms will be crucial for both parties. “[Midterms] have to do with lawmakers, and we need to vote for people who will make the laws we want.”

The months leading up to Election Day have also been heavily influenced by the “Trump factor”: former president Donald Trump’s influence on a majority of the Republican electorate. Trump is under a barrage of investigations for issues like his business dealings and the events of Jan. 6, with a select committee holding nine hearings describing in vivid detail the horrors of that day, and issuing a subpoena for his role in inciting the insurrection.

Click on the map for a closer look at areas with key midterm elections this November. (Image by Joseph Zuloaga ’23)

Additionally, his Mar-a-Lago estate was raided by the FBI in August, where many sets of classified documents were found. He continues to push baseless claims to his supporters that the 2020 election was rigged and the 2022 election will be as well.

AP Government student Jadon Leung ’23 is disappointed at Trump’s grip on the GOP, and cites Liz Cheney breaking ranks as the moment “the GOP became the Trump party.”

“Trump brought out more people to vote, like traditionally disaffected demographics, but since they have been disaffected for so long, they are unaware of how the system works, so they are less trusting of it,” remarked Isola.

Polarization across the country has increased, with both parties distancing themselves from moderate platforms and bipartisanship seen in previous years. Leung stated, “I believe that polarization will just get more extreme… due to the echo chambers the two sides have created through social media.”

Isola hopes for compromise and for traditional Republicans to return to the spotlight. He frames this election as a crossroads because “both parties are fractured.”

Voters will get to decide the future of this nation this November.