Midterm elections are coming to a close on voting day this Tuesday, Nov. 6. Representatives from the Indian Student Association, SMU College Republicans, Spectrum and the Embrey Human Rights Program have commented on the importance and potential effects of this election.
SMU has promoted voting in this election through early voting drives, and SMU campus was an early voting location this year. This year’s midterm elections mark the highest percentage of voter turnout in decades.
“This election represents a historic increase in youth turnout. Across the state, students are becoming more involved and mobilized,” Colin Smith, president of SMU College Republicans said.
SMU student leaders agree across the board this election is important in terms of young voter turnout and polarized politics. Sriya Reddy, Indian Student Association communications chair, commented “politics today are so polarized,” with Democrats aiming to hold a Senate majority and Americans standing staunchly by their political parties.
Student leaders have repeatedly highlighted immigration as a key issue this election. Tannah Oppliger, EHRP student director, said this issue specifically affects Texas.
“For the Senate elections, it seems that social issues like immigration policy are taking priority. Texas has one of the highest rates of in-migration in the country, so this affects the lives of a huge segment of our population,” Oppliger wrote.
“For the Senate elections, it seems that social issues like immigration policy are taking priority.”
Oppliger and Smith agree economics and taxes are especially important in Texas as well. Oppliger said since “Texans have never been fond of taxes,” that this issue is especially important for congressional elections. Smith shares this sentiment, saying “economic growth will prove to be [one of] the most important topics of the election cycle.”
Reddy and Oppliger believe this will be a close race, and couldn’t say whether there would be a Texan “Blue Wave.” Both believe the Democratic movement has come very far in Texas. They commented that both Beto’s surprising amount of support and minorities’ record poll numbers have made the race unpredictable.
“I think this election is extremely important in states like Texas where for the first time in a long time, it has a chance of turning purple. I honestly can’t tell what the outcome will be, most of the polls I’ve seen seem wildly conflicting so all eyes will be watching the results,” said Spectrum Co-president Anna Puterbaugh.
“I think this election is extremely important in states like Texas where for the first time in a long time, it has a chance of turning purple.”
Smith thinks Texas will not flip blue this election. He is confident Republicans’ values in foreign policy and strong economic growth will guarantee them a victory.
Reddy, however, is hopeful about increased voter turnout. She said, “No matter who wins, this increase in civic involvement, especially in our generation, is so important and something that I hope will stay in the years to come.”