2014 midterm elections

Most of the discussion concerning this week’s midterm elections has not been about pressing issues facing the nation today, but rather on the possibility of a Republican-controlled Congress.

With 33 Senate spots available and all 435 House seats up for grabs, the Republicans were left with a lot to gain and the Democrats with a lot to lose.  President Obama’s approval rating is at an all-time low, which left the GOP with ample opportunity to increase their government control.

According to the Washington Post, 10 Senate races were on the fence, and the New York Times reported that polls showed a small advantage for the GOP.

The race for the House was more clear-cut, with the Post 99% sure the election would result in a Republican majority.

A study by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics revealed that 51% of millennials (18 to 29 year olds), who said they would “definitely vote,” preferred a Republican-controlled congress, an unwelcome statistic for the Democrats who had solid support among young voters in recent elections.

Despite early signs pointing toward a GOP victory, the election wasn’t so bleak for Democrats.  Based on the analysis of early voting data by the Times, registered Democrats who did not vote in 2010 are now turning out to vote by more than 9%, as opposed to registered Republicans.

The analysis was conducted by looking at early voting numbers in Georgia, North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa.  All of these were states that analysts said could go either way.

In the South, Democrats used advertisements hoping to get support with a larger African-American turnout by using racially-focused messages such as showing images of the events in Ferguson and mentioning Trayvon Martin’s death, according to reporting by the Times.

Republicans took a different approach by running attack ads linking Democrats to the increasingly unpopular President Obama.

State and local elections were also held, including gubernatorial elections in 36 states.

Here in New York, incumbent Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo ran against Republican Rob Astorino and other third party candidates such as Howie Hawkins of the Green Party.

Cuomo was re-elected governer of New York State after votes were tallied Tuesday night.