After election results poured in on Nov. 6 from across the country, resulting in the Democrats regaining control of the House of Representatives and the Republicans maintaining the Senate, students shared their views on national and state races and how those elections will impact the next two years and the 2020 presidential election.
“I think it was a major upset. I’m really proud of the direction that we’re going in,” said Anna Book, third-year public health student.
Book voted in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, and was most excited about Joe Cunningham winning a spot in the House of Representatives following a close race.
“I know that our family was just really afraid of Arrington and what she stood for because she beat Mark Sanford in the primaries for that election, who we’ve always had,” Book said. “And she’s super pro-Trump which is something that just makes me uncomfortable.”
While she does not support President Trump, Book chose to vote for both Republican and Democrat candidates. She hopes that this will help her be more open to other parties’ opinions instead of sticking to only one party.
“I’d be unhappy if I was just voted Democrat all the time even if that’s what my social views tend to go towards, especially in South Carolina,” Book said. “So I want to be able to find common ground with candidates and sometimes that means voting Republican.”
Beth Ann Puryear, a first-year business student, is a first-time voter in South Carolina. While she voted Republican, she believes the Democrats taking the House will balance the country.
“As a Republican, I feel like my values are being held up in the Senate, but at the same time I would prefer it to be as equal as possible in the Senate and especially with the Supreme Court now really right-leaning I’d prefer more of a balance than overwhelming majority,” Puryear said.
First-year business student William Schwartz did not vote at all this midterm election because he did not feel educated enough to choose a candidate. However, he does hope to vote in the 2020 presidential election.
“I definitely want to be more educated so I can vote and make a bigger difference because I didn’t this time,” Schwartz said.
Following this shift in power, Book, Schwartz and Puryear all feel apprehension going in to the next two years of President Trump’s administration.
“I think it’s interesting because it’s Democrats versus Republicans ... could be a very big problem. I don’t think anything’s going to get accomplished,” Schwartz said. "It’s very different now.”
Book is most interested in how the House will do investigations into the administration and whether Trump will comply with requests.
“I feel like that they’re going to ask for tax returns and he’s going to be like ‘no,’ and then they’re going to be like ‘but you have to,’ and he’s going to be like ‘I’m not going to.’ And then that’s going to be a thing,” Book said.
Even though the Democrats now hold the House, the Republicans will hold the presidency, the Senate and the Supreme Court. This shift in the midterm elections could change the remainder of Trump’s administration and could foreshadow the 2020 presidential election.
“I think there’s going to be a lot more controversy,” Puryear said. “I feel like our country’s very divided right now, especially, and ... I hope that one of their main objectives is to kind of fix the whole immigration thing, make it more of a fair process and get that under control and hopefully they’ll start getting stuff done.”