Unpacking the importance of the midterm elections

Although midterm elections may not be as followed as presidential elections, they are just as important. The midterm elections and the elected candidates impact policymaking on the local, state and federal levels.

“This midterm election will have implications for what our country is like in 20 years, especially in terms of how we’re mitigating and responding to climate change,” said Dorian Warren, co-president of Community Change.

According  to Jonathan Carroll, Illinois state representative for the 57th district, which includes Northbrook, the midterms are exceptionally important because local boards and elected officials impact people’s daily lives significantly more than the president.

Carroll, an incumbent Democrat, supports women’s rights and getting rid of assault weapons, which  are both topics on his main agenda.

“Every time we have an election, [there are] major issues that come up that people really care about,” Carroll said.

Voters have the opportunity during the midterm elections to put candidates with similar values to theirs in office, Carroll said.

According to Warren, the midterm elections are seen as the electorate’s opinion on the president and the party in power, specifically how he is perceived and the state of the economy.

“In this case, the Democrats control both houses of Congress and of course the presidency,” said Warren. “In this kind of situation, the midterm elections are seen as a referendum of two things: one is the president’s approval rating and how he is perceived as passing legislation or not, secondly it is usually a referendum on the state of the economy.”

According to Rory Welch, the Republican candidate for the Illinois state representative for the 57th district, whether at the local, state or federal level, the decisions made today will affect high school students indirectly today, through their parents’ mortgages and paying taxes, and directly tomorrow, with college loans and job salaries.

There are four key tenets to Welch’s platform:  tax and budget reform, public safety, law and order and fighting corruption, Welch said.

“Regardless of what your beliefs are, your party affiliation or who you support, I believe that for our system to work in the most effective way, it’s really important we have a high participation rate,” said Welch. “I think that’s very important, whether you agree with me or not, that we encourage and educate [voters] to get more people to the polls.”

Students who are eligible and registered  to vote will have the opportunity to on Nov. 8. 

The midterm elections affect everyone in tangible ways, no matter what a person’s political preference is, Warren said.

“[The midterm elections] affect any issue you care about: the quality of life, an issue like abortion or gun safety and a lot of economic policy, all of which affect ordinary people like us,” Warren said.