Ms. Lexi Anderson, CVC Editor
The midterm elections that occurred this past year brought high tensions, partisanship, and voter turnout, as it was hailed as some of the most important elections in the past few decades. The controversial Trump presidency has raised political activists from all sides of the aisle, from those searching for political justice and those staunchly defending the current administration. Regardless of political affiliation, this election was historic. Marked by historic voter turnouts and bitterly partisan elections, the nationwide race for the House of Representatives and the Senate was undeniably ripe with tension and brimming with historical importance.
The composition of the House of Representatives after the midterm elections is 233 seats Democratic, 200 seats Republican, and two seats still undecided. This means that Democrats, who were the previous minority party, recaptured majority for the first time since 2009. Gaining 34 seats, Democrats brought forth a huge wave of political activism, unifying under a message of progress and inclusivity.
The Democratic party elected the first two Muslim congresswomen, as well as the first two Native American congresswomen, one of whom is the second ever openly lesbian member of Congress. New Yorker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at 29 years old, and Texas elected their first ever Latina representatives. Along with other historic elections such as Jared Polis being the first openly gay governor from Colorado, there was a record number of women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community who will be joining the congressional body this year.
In Vermont, all of the incumbent candidates retained their seats. Bernie Sanders, independent but caucusing with Democrats, will return to the Senate, defeating Republican challenger Lawrence Zupan by a margin of 40%. Vermont’s sole representative Peter Welch (D) beat Anya Tynio (R) by 43.2%, and Republican governor Phil Scott overpowered democrat Christine Hallquist by a margin of 15%.
Over the past two years, Republicans dominated all facets of the executive and legislative branches, pushing a much more conservative agenda under President Trump than the progressive steps taken by President Obama in the eight years previous. However, more left-leaning voters made their message heard, demanding representation in an ever-changing political landscape.
Though Vermont’s elections were expected, the national scene was chock full of upsets with huge victories and losses for Democrats and Republicans alike. The events of the next two years and the accomplishments by legislators are now dependants on the two parties bridging their differences to create genuine change.