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Lucier: A missing red wave and a win for abortion activists

A photo of the state capital.
Katie Bradham, Senior Photographer

A photo of the state capital.

Elections are always a controversial topic around the Thanksgiving table, and if you don’t know what happened, you can easily get lost in conversation. So, here’s what happened, more or less. 
The race was a lot closer than we thought it would be. Republicans expected a much stronger shift in the control of the House and Senate, especially since in the past the House and Senate typically flip depending on the party of the current president.
Though the results are not quite finalized yet, as of Nov. 15, 2022, we know, as the results show, it’s been a very close race. 
Republicans are working their way towards a slim majority, but it’s still anyone’s game. In the U.S. Senate, 48 seats are currently held by a Democrat while 49 are held by a Republican, with two “other” and one to be determined. The U.S. House isn’t as close, but it is still much closer than we thought it would be, with 205 Democrats and 217 Republicans and 13 seats to be determined.
Part of the reason this midterm went differently than expected is the larger than life turnout of young people across the country. With such controversial topics in the ballots this year, people wanted to make their voices heard.
An overwhelming majority of these unexpected voters voted blue, driving this shift in results. The turnout of voters from 18-29 was the second-highest that it’s been in three decades, with around 27% of all eligible voters in the age group voting, according to The Guardian.
There were also many firsts, a trend that is starting to become more and more prominent in our elections. To name two, Maura Healey was elected  in Massachusetts as the first openly lesbian governor. Maxwell Frost was elected as the first member of Generation Z in Congress, showing just how much young people are getting involved in politics. Elected at 25 years old, he is the youngest person ever elected to serve in Congress. 
Abortion access was one of the big ticket items on the ballot this year and, thankfully, we saw progress towards legalizing abortion in every state once more. California, Michigan and Vermont voted to create state legislation to protect abortion rights and access. In Kentucky and Montana, amendments to restrict access to abortions were struck down. 
The anticipated turnover of the Senate and Congress from blue to red didn’t happen nearly as much as we thought, showing how much this country is currently split over topics like abortion and inflation.
This midterm showed how much young voters, especially young millennials and older Gen Z, are participating in politics. From having one of the highest voter turnout in decades, to electing the youngest congressman ever, we have shown how much we want our voices to be heard.
Healey Lucier is a senior horticulture major from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. She is the current Outlook editor.

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