Midterms, which are held every fourth November nearing the midpoint of the president’s term in office, calls for general elections that will determine which party dominates Congress. With the current Republican House of Representatives, 2018 midterms are a glimmer of opportunity for Democrats to take back control over the Senate. Of the politicians competing to represent their state in the Senate, one of the most anticipated outcomes is between Senator Cruz and Congressman O’Rourke in the state of Texas, a result that has the potential to reverse the party in control for the next four years.
As of now, the Senate is composed of 51 Republicans, 47 Democrats, and 2 Independents as a result of the 2014 midterm elections. Texas has remained a consistent red state since 1994 with the current Senator being Ted Cruz . However, all of that may change soon with the emergence of a challenger, Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
Having announced his campaign late March, Beto O’Rourke is the Democratic representative from El Paso, a city in western Texas. According to Vanity Fair, for the past couple decades, the majority of the voting Texan population has been Republican, hence its constant popularity during the midterm elections. This time, though, the two candidates are eye-to-eye in the debate due to O’Rourke, who has garnered the attention of many citizens not just in Texas, but all over the country.
Amidst all the polarization and feelings of resentment among Americans, Beto O’Rourke is best known for his approach of the solution, which is to focus on positivity and expectancy of something different rather than the divisiveness or lack of civility in the country as of now. A 53-year-old Texan citizen explained to the Washington Post, “I almost feel like, in politics now, people have gotten used to feeling bad all of the time. He makes me feel good. He makes me feel hopeful.” Many people from not just Texas, but all over the country feel the same way, allowing O’Rourke to gradually become a familiar and welcomed face in the scene of politics.
On September 21, the first debate between Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke took place. The debate featured the two politicians sparring one another in order to establish each one’s positions and tear down the other’s. With a variety of topics ranging from the Second Amendment to kneeling for the National Anthem to immigration, the debate left the audience with mixed feelings on both sides. According to National Public Radio, the polls after the debate showed O’Rourke, who expressed more liberal views than a typical Texan, and Cruz, who already had a general reputation, with equal amounts of votes, resulting in a toss-up.
With the outcomes of the first debate, many people are keeping an eye out for the following second and third debates, which will take place sometime in October. Because the election of the Texas Senator holds so much and the potential to tip the scale for both parties, the upcoming debates and final results between the two representatives remain one of the most awaited rounds in the 2018 midterms.
Joyce Kim, Grade 9
La Canada High School