October 28, 2014

What You Need to Know about the 2014 Midterm Elections

In case you haven't been on the internet lately (or in case Ebola was too loud for you to hear), the 2014 midterm elections are coming up on November 4, 2014. And because everyone loves a good cup of politics with their morning tea, I've rounded up the very basic need-to-knows for the upcoming elections.

So to accompany your bacon and coffee this morning, I'm going to pitch the 2014 midterm elections to you by answering a few simple questions:

What's being decided?
Federal: Various members of Congress
State: Governor in 36 states
Local: Too much for an elevator pitch (think mayors and school board officeholders)

Who's in Congress?
Congress is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. In a perfect world, they agree on bills to pass to the President, who signs them into law. (In the real world, they fight among themselves like an older, more well-versed version of the Kardashians.)

The Senate is made up of 100 Senators (2 from each state).

The House of Representatives includes 435 Representatives, each state getting a certain number based on population. There are also six Delegates (representing the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and four other territories of the United States) who do not get to vote.

Who cares?
Maybe you, maybe not, but certainly those in politics and certainly Barry (Obama, that is). 

Right now, the House is controlled by Republicans (that's how you know Speaker John Boehner) but the Senate is controlled by Democrats (Barry's party). Republicans need to come up with 6 more Senators to take control of the Senate.

This isn't great news for Barry because if he thought it was hard getting his way now, working with an entirely Republican Congress will probably be about as productive as when I tell my Cockapoo to help with the laundry.

Which states are voting on their Senators?

What are the key issues?
Several issues have had everyone talking recently: immigration, health care, and the Middle East, just for example. Because this is an elevator pitch, I'm not going to go into them but if you really want to know, just do what I always do: Skimm it.

This is boring and I don't care.
That is not a question. Also, this is just what Americans do, so...