By: Audrey Scott
For those of you within the student body who were on the ball enough to get your voter registration switched to this district, Tuesday, November 2, 2010, was the day to fulfill your civic duty. Many Dickinson students turned out at the local polling place, Grace Baptist Church in order to voice their opinion in the ongoing election. As the 3rd of November dawned, and the results came pouring in, an overall Republican victory was apparent. The GOP battered the Democratic hold on the Senate, nearly winning back the 60 seat supermajority that the Democrats held previously. This puts the seat breakdown at Democrats maintaining 53 seats and Republicans taking the other 47.
Pennsylvania was a race to watch, pitting Dem. Joe Sestak against Rep. Pat Toomey. Toomey pulled out a win with the slimmest of slim margins, beating Sestak by 1%. Sestak was able to eke out a win in key areas such as Philadelphia, but the overwhelming Republican support from rural regions throughout the rest of the state ended up being enough to sink the Sestak ship.
In the House, however, Republicans really stretched their legs. Republicans attained the majority, scoring 239, while the Democrats are only able to boast 188 now. Rep. John Boehner of Ohio is expected to become the next speaker of the house, replacing Nancy Pelosi. When questioned about the statement the election results had on his job in office thus far, President Obama answered, “[the result] underscores for me that I’ve got to do a better job, just like everybody else in Washingston.” However, this election does not necessarily reflect on the President’s popularity within his own party. Sources like CNN and MSNBC are reporting that the shift in power stems from a greater number of independents siding with the Republicans in an effort to reinstate balance on Capitol Hill, knocking out the Democratic hold on the House. A total of 11 states also went red in the gubernatorial races.
Of the issues that were voted most imperative in exit polls, the economy led with a 62% majority followed by health care at 19%, immigration at 8% and the war in Afghanistan at 7%. Also, the Tea Party Movement, which has become a bourgeoning sect of the GOP reared its newborn head in this election, with a shocking 41% of voters supporting the party in exit polls. Though 31% of voters are in opposition to the movement and a quarter have no comment on the matter, the movement has been fast-spreading since its 2009 inception. With two-thirds of Republicans identifying with the movement, it seems as though this sect is here to stay.
The real question is, no matter your personal views or party affiliation, will President Obama and a Republican house be able to bury the hatchet and get work done in Washington by bridging the partisan gap that has unmistakably been emerging in recent years?