Power vote: A change in the nation

Walter Michot/Miami Herald/MCT

Marianna Sotomayor, Political Editor

And the votes are finally in! After many televised debates, accusatory candidates, countless TV commercials, and rallies to restore sanity, the 2010 Gubernatorial and Senatorial midterm elections have come to a close.

Florida followed the nation in replacing Democrats with Republicans in both state and local elections, with Rick Scott capturing the race for governor and Mark Rubio winning the senatorial race.

Elected by attaining 50% of the votes, Rubio beat Independent Charlie Christ (28%) and Democrat Kendrick Meek (15%) after a very heated campaign. In order to “Reclaim America,” as his campaign slogan read, Senator-Elect Rubio is considering taking swift action in the House.

During his campaigns, Rubio promised that he would work with other Republican senators in stabilizing the economy by cutting government spending, extending the Bush era tax breaks, and put an end to the “Death Tax.” Rubio has also publically stated that he would like to repeal Roe vs. Wade and President Obama’s health care system.

Luckily for Governor-Elect Rick Scott, a weak Democratic turnout allowed him to move into the Governor’s Mansion. As a result, Scott hopes to  implement a new “transitioning” team, those who will become part of his advising committee, to Tallahassee.  Once Governor-Elect Scott is sworn into office, he plans  to reduce property taxes, eliminate business taxes, and get Floridians to work.

 Although providing jobs for Floridians will take large incentives in Scott’s new agenda, Erin Pluchino believes that Republican representation will get the job done. “I feel that the Republican programs of lowering taxes, initiating incentives for small businesses, and stopping the ‘over-regulation’ in the financial industry and health care programs will help produce more jobs in Florida.”

Scott won 49% of Floridian votes, while his opponent, Alex Sink won 48%. After several speculations of an impending recount, Scott beat Sink by only 1%. “Voter turnout was crucial here” states Senior Paige Schaefer.  “If we, as Democrats, could stir the same kind of excitement and attention as we did in 2008 during these midterm elections, I think we would be seeing much more blue on the map. “

The Republican governor count has not only exceeded the required six governor seats,  but the party has also gained the majority by having 29 Republican governors compared to 17 Democratic governors in the nation.

Another triumphant win for the Republican Party resulted after they gained majority in the House of Representatives. Republicans now claim 239 seats in the House, while the Democrats hold onto 188 seats out of 435. Now leading in the House by 60 seats, the biggest jump since the 1940s, the Republican’s have one task readily at hand: nominating a new Speaker of the House.  

Although the House majority is now in the Republicans hands, Florida still sent nine Democratic Representatives to Capitol Hill. Tampa native Kathy Castor, from District 11, was re-elected into the House.

Also, the Democrats still hold the executive branch, as well as the Senate. Leading in the Senate with 51 Democrats opposed to 47 Republicans, the Democrats hope to work with Republicans in order to bring the change Americans demanded and deserve.

With many Republican and Democratic candidates around the nation voicing their ideas on how to achieve change in government, it was no surprise that many voters, both old and new, went out to cast their ballots on November 2. Although citizens could vote on enacting or withdrawing many propositions for their state, their greatest concern was based on which candidates could efficiently represent their ideals. Many Americans hope that their elected representatives can quickly enact change in the government, but most importantly fix the economic crisis. 

The population’s discontentment in the government occurred after the government’s failure to restart the economy, as well as provide jobs. Although President Obama pulled the United States out of the recession in July 2009, Americans are still not gratified with his accomplishments, since they are not directly impacted by its positive effect. America’s disillusionment with President Obama is a direct result of his failure to capture the nation as proficiently as he did campaigning two years ago. 

“Government has been on trial since President Obama came in office,” states David Gregory from Meet the Press. “He has not won the argument that government is the solution.”

By not reassuring the American people about his positive Democratic policies and principles, President Obama faced scrutiny for not improving the economy as a result. According to a poll administered by NBC, 88% of nationwide voters think the economy is not in good shape, while 86% of voters currently worry about America’s future. Such statistics are shared by many Americans nationwide, including the Republican and Tea Party candidates.

Most Republican candidates, in both the Senate and Governor races throughout the nation,  were able to convince the American people that they can change American politics.  In order for the Republicans in their words “to fully Restore Honor in America,” they needed to take  10 seats in the Senate, 39 seats in the House of Representatives, and six governor seats to win a majority. 

Now as Capitol Hill begins a new season, Republicans and Democrats must override their political “title” and work together for America to prosper. Currently 53% of Americans view both parties unfavorably as a result of their constant partisan views. Similarly, Academy students from both parties agree that representatives must compromise instead of trying to protect their political beliefs.

“Change cannot happen in a year or two years, especially when Congress is gridlocked,” explains Schaefer. “I just hope that our Congress can come together on important issues, such as education and the current reevaluation of the Bush era tax breaks; however I feel that we, as a country, have brought our country into a stalemate.”

Senior Alexa Parisey agrees stating, “What the Republican candidates need to remember is why they gained majority of the House. The voters did not like the direction of this administration, and their votes reflect that. It’s time to make a change.” 

Maintaining the status-quo is just not an option for American citizens who now demand that both Republicans and Democrats work together to solve the serious economical and social problems faced by our nation. By not paying attention to the citizen’s demands, the Republicans might face a similar fate as the Democrats painfully discovered in the 2010 midterm elections.