Historic midterm election outcomes suggest shifting demographic in House and Senate

Amanda Maltin '24 and Harley Marks '23, Opinions Editors

As the final results from elections across the country trickle in, it is clear that young voters had a sizable influence over election outcomes this election cycle.  According to Tufts University CIRCLE, 27 percent of young people aged 18-29 voted in the midterm elections, which is the second highest level of turnout in that age category in the last three decades. 

While early projections anticipated a “red tsunami,” giving Republicans sizeable leads in both chambers, the statistics suggest that young people voted overwhelmingly Blue this election cycle, with pundits attributing this to party-alignment with policies surrounding abortion, student debt, and the climate.  This has led to less significant power differentials in the House and Senate, which has interesting implications on the kinds of policy debates we will see play out during the next session in Congress.  

With many Americans reporting feeling uncertain about the country’s political trajectory, this election cycle has provided a little bit of insight into the direction this country might go in over the next couple of years.   

As abortion rights, healthcare access, climate health and so much more all hang in the balance, there is increased attention and pressure on who is elected into the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.  In spite of the perpetual feeling of impending doom surrounding American politics, there were a multitude of exciting and historic wins across the country this week across the political spectrum:  

The first Gen-Z congressmen has been elected in Florida following Tuesday’s midterm elections. Maxwell Frost, 25, won an Orlando-district seat after a lively campaign centered around ending gun violence, endorsing Medicare-For-All and addressing racism embedded in the criminal justice system. The seat had been vacated by a Democrat so they could pursue senatorial aspirations.  

The first representative with mixed citizenship in congress, Democrat Delia Ramirez is projected to win in Illinois’ redrawn 3rd Congressional District. Ramirez is the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants and her campaign focused on housing justice, increasing the quality of public education through funding, community safety, women’s rights and LGBTQ+ justice.  

Maryland has elected its first Black governor, Wes Moore, who flipped the governorship from Red to Blue. Moore is an Army veteran and former nonprofit executive. His campaign focused on economic development, social justice, and measures to enhance public transportation.   

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey was elected as the first female governor of Massachusetts and the nation’s first openly lesbian governor. Healey has endorsed the reinstatement of the child tax credit, supports economic development focused on making employment accessible and wants to enact legislation focusing on climate justice.

As Gen-Z comes of age, political leadership will change to reflect our changing priorities. These historic wins represent the power that young voters have to provide space for representatives of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds, as well as those of many diverse personal identifiers.  As the country continues to face a reckoning about national identity and priorities, it is exciting to see that our legislators are beginning to reflect the diversity of our generation.

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