Midterm Elections: Quick Predictions, Part 1

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Photo by Emily Cope

Opinions expressed within are the property of their author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of any other member or the Tiger Town Observer itself. 

Finally, it has arrived. The 2020 midterms are on Tuesday. If you are majoring in political science or actively involved in politics, this is the political Super Bowl  – or the World Series (Go Astros!). 

Democrats are looking to rewrite history, which tells us that the power in Congress typically flips when one party takes control of the White House in the previous election and remains in power for another two years. The Biden administration has two more years in the executive branch, so keeping the majority in both chambers would be huge for the Democrats as they can continue to pass legislation that fits the Biden agenda. Republicans are hoping to win back both chambers to shut down any chance of the Biden agenda from being fulfilled as well as attempt to pass clean conservative legislation. 

With the Democrats playing defense and Republicans playing offense with a sense of urgency, the results will have a substantial effect on the balance of power in Congress as well as each party’s momentum leading up to the 2024 general election. 

KEY: I = INCUMBENT

Ohio Senate Race: J.D. Vance (Republican) vs. Tim Ryan (Democrat)

In the latest poll conducted by Emerson College, Vance has a 6% lead over Ryan as he sits at 51% and Ryan at 43%. According to 270toWin, the average amongst all polls conducted favors Vance at 47.7% and Ryan at 45.0%. This is an election where it will be interesting to see where the undecided voters break and which party comes out to vote. 

Prediction: J.D Vance. 

Ohio Senate Race: Herchel Walker (Republican) vs. Raphel Warnock  (Democrat-I)

This is a race everyone is watching, not just because one of/if not the greatest running back in college football history is a candidate, but because of the allegations against Herchel Walker from members of his own family and different women he allegedly had relations with. Although the turmoil has slightly affected Walker in polling, his campaign put up a monster Q3 with millions of dollars in donations. 

Raphael Warnock is the incumbent in this race. He has been serving the peach state since the beginning of 2021 when he defeated Kelly Loeffler for the seat in a run-off election. He is a prominent supporter of the Biden agenda and fights for climate, criminal justice reform, and reproductive rights.

Herschel Walker, as mentioned above, is a name that every Georgian has on their mind. He has been involved in politics for decades but got extremely vocal regarding the issues in this country during the Trump campaign and presidency. As expected, he is Trump-endorsed and is running on the issues of securing the border, energy independence, conservative family values, and supporting small businesses.

The Trafalgar Group has this race at 48.9% for Walker and 46.5% for Warnock. This is going to be one of the close ones.

Prediction: Run-off. 

New York Gubernatorial Race: Kathy Hochel (Democrat-I) vs. Lee Zeldin (Republican)

Democratic candidates in New York have been cruising to wins since the 2000s. This time, it might be different as the state has a plethora of issues including crime. Congressman Lee Zeldin is going ALL IN and seeking to win the governorship in New York as a Republican. This is a race that could be one of the major flips for Republicans if they are able to propel Zeldin.

Kathy Hochel filled in for disgraced former governor of New York Andrew Cuomo in the fall of 2021 and is running for a full term as governor. Prior to the role of governor, she served as the lieutenant governor. If elected for a full term, she would hope to protect reproductive rights, combating climate change, keeping communities safe, and bringing down the cost of living for New Yorkers. Lee Zeldin is a current member of the 117th congress representing the 1st district of New York since 2015. He identifies as a Trump conservative, but Trump has not endorsed him or campaigned with him. Zeldin is running on the issues of crime, cutting taxes and other regulations, creating jobs, defending the freedom of citizens, term limits, and fighting to investigate the Cuomo nursing home disaster.

Prediction: Toss up

South Carolina Governor Race: Henry McMaster (Republican-I) vs. Joe Cunningham (Democrat)

Cunningham would have a better shot of winning in a state that is purple. His campaign has really made a play towards the young voters. This is South Carolina and it is historically a red state. Polls show McMaster has nothing to worry about, so he can go to bed early on Tuesday night.

Prediction: Henry McMaster

South Carolina Senate Race: Tim Scott (Republican-I) vs. Krystle Matthews (Democrat)

Tim Scott has done an excellent job representing the state of South Carolina in the Senate. He will cruise here. Potentially, his seat will be up again in 2 more years if he is selected as vice president. 

Prediction: Tim Scott

Florida Governor Race: Ron DeSantis (Republican-I) vs. Charlie Christ (Democrat)

Ron DeSantis is the second biggest name currently in the GOP. He has turned Florida, which is historically a state that can go either way, to a red state. His policies have been outstanding for his state. If he wins by a large percentage, a 2024 or 2028 presidential run could be calling his name. 

Prediction: Ron DeSantis

Texas Governor Race Greg Abbott (Republican-I) vs. Beto O’Rourke (Democrat)

Beto O’Rourke has run for senate, president, and now governor within the last six years. He has lost in two of those races and is looking to finally get a win against Greg Abbott. The problem for him is polling data has shown that Abbott is up by a few points. Austin and major cities will get Beto votes, but the rest of Texas will lead Abbott to a win.

Prediction: Greg Abbott

Arizona Governor Race Kari Lake (Republican) vs. Katie Hobbs (Democrat)

Former television news anchor now candidate for governor, Kari Lake has become a star in the GOP. With that said, polls show that Hobbs is only down by a few points and a small percentage of voters are undecided. This one comes down to who will come out to vote and if Maricopa county has their election system together (they probably don’t). Nevertheless, I think Lake takes it here. 

Prediction: Kari Lake

Michigan Governor Race: Tudor Dixon (Republican) vs. Gretchen Whitmer (Democrat-I)

Tudor Dixon has run an excellent campaign against Gretchen Whitmer. Whitmer has lost popularity since her last election due to her stance on COVID and several other issues. Hold onto your seats for this one because this race will be close. 

Prediction: Gretchen Whitmer 

Pennsylvania Senate Race: Dr. Mehmet Oz (Republican) vs. John Fetterman (Democrat)

John Fetterman has run the weirdest campaign I have ever seen from a candidate for senator. From his debate debacles to his gaffes at campaign events, this has been a campaign that many will never forget for the wrong reasons. Dr. Oz on the other hand, has the name recognition due to his life before running for senate as he was a TV doctor for many years. Despite everything, polls show this one is close. Pennsylvania is one of the states that can go either way, but I see Oz winning this one because I believe rural Pennsylvania will carry him to a victory. 

Prediction: Dr. Oz*

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Armani Gracia is a fourth-year college student from Houston, Texas, studying political science and communications at Clemson University. He has been active in the conservative movement for six years. He is a current Social Media Strategy intern for Clemson University and Social Media Content Creator & Strategist for The America Project. Armani has served as an intern for U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), U.S. Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10), former Director of Student Engagement for The BLEXIT Foundation, Media Director for BLEXIT South Carolina, Regional Director for Faith and Freedom Coalition, Election Clerk for Harris Country District Clerks Office, and a Contributing Writer on House of Houston.

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