MID-TERM ELECTIONS–A QUICK MASH-UP: Races and Trends in 2014

By Anita Stewart

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Why Vote?

Mid-term Elections are usually not taken seriously by many voters and this is the one time that some voters tend to not take advantage of their voting rights. In 2010 only 42% of eligible voters went to the polls. But getting out the vote and going to the polls is just as important now as it ever was.

Voters need to realize that politics that affects them personally tends to happen close to home and is normally based on local issues. In many cases, citizens are less engaged during the Mid-term Elections and don’t even realize what the local issues are when it is not time to vote for a President.

What Could Help Citizens? Real Representation!

This time around, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs, 33 of the 100 Senate seats, 38 governor’s seats and 46 state legislatures.

Big races are taking place across the country between the Democrats and the Republicans, Incumbents and those that are running for office for the first time. Women are representing in great numbers and raising more money than the male incumbents. The pool of candidates has become more diversified with many Third Party candidates and Independents getting a little more recognition in their local media or running great Social Media campaigns. Many think it is way past time for a Third Party.

Much more work still needs to be done for Third Party and Independent candidates to be included in the debates, both local, state and federal. Who is included in the debates and the eligible criteria for candidates to participate right now is decided by the corporations who host and produce the debates. In years past, that was the job of the League of Women Voters.

The corporate media and the corporations who are hosting the debates have often discouraged and stopped Democratic, Republican, Third Party and Independent candidates from participating by changing their qualifying criteria at the last-minute. In the most recent past, the corporate media and the corporations went to even more extreme measures, i.e., by detaining or arresting Third Party and Independent candidates for trying to enter the sites where debates were being held. These important stories rarely get into the mainstream news.

How the votes are counted is another issue. In a few states, counting the votes in secret is unconstitutional. Since the votes are counted by scanners and not by hand, one has to ask the question, is our current system of voting even valid? Joseph Stalin said: “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”

It is important to remember that in a real democracy all viewpoints are heard! And the voters should demand to hear all of the candidates so that they can make informed choices when they vote. And it is very clear that our current system is flawed.

For A Quick Glance At What’s At Stake…

The four states with the highest populations, California, Texas, New York and Florida are really like small countries unto themselves. The political battling is fiercely waged in these four states during every election season. For the most concise and comprehensive information, please review OPEN SECRETS and REAL CLEAR POLITICS for all of the 2014 Mid-term Elections information.

Currently:

  • Senate: 45 Dems to 45 GOP with 10 toss-ups
  • House of Representatives: 183 Dems to 228 GOP with 24 toss-ups
  • Governor Races: 16 Dems to 22 GOP with 12 toss-ups

See: The 8 Governor Races That Matter.

What People Will Be Watching

CALIFORNIA

In California many of the races are very close, but it appears that the Democrats are almost always raising more money.

COLORADO

GMO Labeling is also being considered in Colorado with Proposition 105. Monsanto has become a formidable enemy when it comes to advertising and has the money to buy a lot of it.

FLORIDA

A Hotly contested race is for the Governor’s seat. This is between Governor Scott, the Republican incumbent and Crist, who was Governor of Florida before when he was registered Republican, now he is a Democrat. With the Libertarian, Whylie, thrown in, this should make this race quite interesting all the way to the finish line. There is also an Independent running, Farid Khavari. Especially important to voters are Amendments 1, Florida Water and Land Legacy and Amendment 2, Medical Marijuana. Huge amounts have been spent on advertising for the latter Amendment, by both the YES and NO sides.

NEW YORK

The hottest governor’s race happening is Rob Astorino, the incumbent Andrew Cuomo who is currently in the lead and the Green Party member, Howie Hawkins who is getting a lot of support.

OREGON

GMO Labeling is front and center in Oregon with Proposition 92. But Monsanto is spending millions in advertising to quickly counteract a possible win.

TEXAS

One of the biggest races that many are watching is Wendy Davis against Greg Abbot. A champion of Women and the Right to Choose, she says it is hard to turn the state blue because of redistricting.

Do your research on the candidates and be sure to vote on November 4th, 2014. It is one of the few rights we have left.

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