The Tennessee primary midterm elections were held last month, and though Tennessee has always been a strong red state, the blue voters were able to make their voices heard, but what are the chances Tennessee will suddenly turn blue?
For those who aren’t sure what midterm primary elections are: Midterm primaries means voters select their top candidates for the Senate, Governor and House of Representatives. The midterm elections themselves won’t be held until November, so there’s plenty of time to read up on each party’s candidates and who aligns best with your political values.
Tennessee as a state has leaned Republican for many years, but with the growing tide of controversy over current President Trump’s policies and rhetoric, there are many Tennesseans outraged as is a great number of people across the country.
Debate has ensued whether Trump will be the catalyst to switch a state’s majority party. For those of us who have lived in Tennessee all our lives, this seems unlikely, especially in the South, but for others like myself, I remain hopeful. College students and recently-turned 18-year-olds hold the future of the state’s legacy.
Demographically, not all Republicans are old, white conservatives, nor are all liberals young, purple-haired millennials, but for the most part, baby boomers still make up a majority of the population, and old practices die hard. Change can be too new for some. With a new generation rising, change is bound to happen sooner or later. The state’s party affiliation has switched back and forth numerous times throughout history; it’ll only be time before Tennessee goes back to a blue state. But is 2018 the year it all changes?
As far as numbers go, it seems the numbers are lacking for the Democratic party.
For governor, Democrat Karl Dean won by a large margin against the other Democratic candidates with 279,324 votes with Bill Lee leading by only 10,000 votes more. Those numbers look good since they’re so close, but when looking at the total number of votes, the total number of Democrat voters are 371,840 versus the Republican voters at 788,719. Republicans more than double the number of Democrats.
As for the Senate, the Democrat party was overruled by a huge margin of 342,463 votes (D-380,651; R-723,114).
So for right now, it looks like Tennessee will more than likely remain red, but that doesn’t mean new voters can’t change the tide.
The U.S. Elections Project estimated that about 43 percent of eligible voters didn’t vote during the 2016 election. It was a rough decision for many, and those who couldn’t decided ultimately just stayed home and removed themselves from the situation. As midterms approach, I hope people are more determined to put forth the effort to enact the change they want to see.
I encourage everyone to do their research this semester as midterms quickly approach. Change doesn’t happen without the populace’s approval. Politics isn’t just policies; it’s about people. Register, research, vote.