Your Vote Mattered

Alex E., Editor in Chief

On November 8th, Election Day, the outcome of months of hard work and campaigning came to fruition when the voters chose who would represent them in many public offices. There were a wide variety of public offices up for election this Midterm. The people who won their positions now have the power to change policies and the course of American history for years to come.The two major parties in the United States of America are the Democrats and the Republicans, with many small independent parties competing to have their views heard as well. After 2016’s Presidential election, Republicans held control over the executive branch as well as the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Democrat’s main goals for this election was to make sure that the Blue Wave happened, mainly in order to promote healthcare &  immigration reforms. To do so in the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Democratic party leadership had to retain the seats they already had and win enough additional seats to have a majority. They also hoped to have more Democrats in the governor’s mansions. On the other hand, the Republicans main goal for this election was to stop the Blue Wave from happening and support the President’s agenda by retaining control of the Senate, House of Representatives, and the majority of Governorships.

Voter turnout in this year’s election was the highest it has been for a midterm election in over century. According to the United States Elections Project, a database about the United States electoral system, 49.3 percent of the voting-eligible population (VEP) turned out to vote this year. This percentage is the highest it has been since the midterm election in 1914 where 50.4 percent of voters voted in the midterm election. The high turnout rate of the VEP is extremely important since the last midterms election had 36.7 percent of the VEP turnout to vote, the lowest in over 70 years.

California is a strongly Democratic leaning state, with 53 seats in the House, due to its massive population. With its large number of seats, California has the ability to sway the majority of the House in many elections. In California, some of the most competitive House races occurred between Democratic challengers and Republican incumbents. This year, seven different California House races were on both party’s radars, whether it was to keep or to flip them. The key California races were; CA-10 GOP Rep. Jeff Denham vs. Democrat Josh Harder(W), CA-25 GOP Rep. Steve Knight vs. Democrat Katie Hill(W), CA-39 Republican Young Kim vs. Democrat Gil Cisneros(W), CA-45 GOP Rep. Mimi Walters vs. Democrat Katie Porter(W), CA-48 GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher vs. Democrat Harley Rouda(W), CA-49  Republican Diane Harkey vs.Democrat Mike Levin(W), and CA-50 GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter(W) vs. Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar.

The most important race, to most citizens of Simi Valley, was the race for CA-25, the House seat that represents most of the City of Simi Valley, in the House of Representatives. The race was between the Republican incumbent Steve Knight and the Democratic challenger Katie Hill. The race got national attention due to it being a toss up race in a district that has had a Republican representative for over 25 years. As stated above, the months of campaigning for votes lead to Katie Hill’s defeat of incumbent Steve Knight by a margin of about five percentage points of the votes. Katie Hill’s win is credited to her fundraising (3x that of her competitor), volunteer base (over 4,000 volunteers), and a greater number of Democrats registered to vote in this election than Republicans in her district. As for our local results, Republican City Council member Keith Mashburn won Simi Valley’s mayoral race by beating out his four challengers. While Republican incumbent Mike Judge and first time candidate Democrat Ruth Luevanos each won a seat on the City Council.

Overall, the Democrats were able to achieve most of their goals for this year’s midterm election. They were successful in their attempt to create a Blue Wave because more Democrats voted this year than Republicans. The Democrats were able to flip the House of Representatives, with a net gain of 38 seats, and had a net gain of 7 gubernatorial seats nationwide. Although the Democrats met most of their goals, the party was unable to flip the Senate and actually lost 3 seats that they held previously. At the time this article was written, some offices were still undecided due to some of the Senate, House, and Gubernatorial Elections requiring run offs and/or recounts. The provisional results of the Senate election were 45 Democrats, 2 Independents (Democratic leaning), 52 Republicans, and 1 seat still being decided. The provisional results for the House of Representatives were 233 Democrats, 200 Republicans, and 2 seats that are still being decided. The provisional results for governorships were 23 Democrats, 25 Republicans, and 2 seats still being decided.