Midterm elections are decided in Pennsylvania


Maddie Hamilton, Photography Editor / The Bucknellian

Kyra DeVoe, Contributing Writer

In the days leading up to Nov. 8, the anticipation about the impending election was palpable on Bucknell’s campus.

The 2022 midterm elections consisted of more than one neck-in-neck race between Republican and Democratic candidates, and students geared up to cast their votes under their Bucknell addresses. Many Bucknell students who come from states such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut often opt to vote in Pennsylvania rather than to vote via absentee ballots in their home states — the prospective results of Pennsylvania elections are often more uncertain than in other states.

John Fetterman won the United States Senate seat in Pennsylvania after a competitive race against Mehmet Oz. Fetterman won by about 3.5 percent of votes after a difficult campaigning experience. Fetterman suffered a stroke earlier this year, and was often only able to appear at campaign events via video calls.

Last month, Fetterman demonstrated his capability to hold office with a doctor’s note and a strong returning presence on his campaign. His election is a massive win for Democrats, flipping a previously red seat blue. 

“We jammed them up,” Fetterman said, following the announcement of his win against Trump-endorsed Oz. “We held the line … I never expected that we were going to turn these red counties blue, but we did what we needed to do.”

Not all Bucknell students were celebrating the Democrat takeover of Pennsylvania’s senate seat.

“I was very disappointed with the election results,” Emma Wojcik ’24, a Political Science major, said. “While I do think Fetterman has justifiable claims, I do not think he is the best source of output for the state of Pennsylvania. He makes assumptions and says he is going to implement policies with little evidence behind them.” 

Democrats experienced another win in Pennsylvania in the race for governor. Democrat candidate Josh Shapiro defeated Republican candidate Doug Mastriano.

A large issue of contention between the two candidates was the topic of abortion, as Mastriano advocated for removing the right to abortion in Pennsylvania in addition to criminally charging women who have abortions, while Shapiro advertised that he would protect Pennsylvania’s current abortion laws that allow the procedure to be legally carried out until a pregnancy reaches 23 weeks. 

“We showed in this campaign that no matter what you look like, where you come from, who you love, or who you pray to, you are valued here in Pennsylvania and we hear you,” Shapiro said. “Tonight, you, the good people of Pennsylvania, you won. Opportunity won. A woman’s right to choose won.”

As for the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans both claimed eight seats. Pennsylvania’s status as a swing state means that Bucknell students’ votes, which are traditionally more liberal than conservative, can have a major impact on election results.

“While I am really excited that Pa. has put in place a leader who will affirm fundamental human rights such as abortion, I am frustrated that Union country still went red with only a difference of 3,000 votes,” Maya Wadwha ’23 said. “I know that across the nation, Gen Z voters showed up to the polls in droves, swaying the results for many pivotal elections. I feel as though the Bucknell and Lewisburg communities could have been more decisive in closing the small margin in Union county.”

The right to vote is one of the most sought-after rights in the world. Bucknell students who voted, no matter who they cast their ballot for, can applaud themselves for utilizing a right that we have the privilege to exercise. 

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