2014 Elections: Midterm elections
(my personal opinion and a brief rant are at the bottom)
Where is my polling station? Link to find your polling station
How can I find out about the candidates and issues where I live? ballot information
Am I a Republican, Democrat, or Independent? Here is a quiz that you can take to see where you fall on the political spectrum. Am I a Republican or Democrat quiz
Why are they called midterm elections? They are called midterm elections because they occur in between a Presidential Elections.
Who controls the House of Representative Right now? The Republicans, which means they get to choose the Speaker of the House
Who controls the Senate? The Democrats, but some thing the Republicans may win control of the Senate today.
Why does this matter? If the Republicans control both the House and the Senate, the President (a Democrat) will have a harder time getting his agenda completed.
Q. Why are presidential elections always in November, and always on Tuesdays?
It all comes down to weather, harvests and worship.
Back when voters traveled to the polls by horse, Tuesday was an ideal day because it allows people to worship on Sunday, ride to their county seat on Monday and vote on Tuesday – all before market day, Wednesday.
And the month of November fit nicely between harvest time and brutal winter weather — which can be especially bad when you’re trudging along by horse and buggy.
But since many voters now travel by horsepower instead of live horses, some people — like the group
Why Tuesday? — are pushing to move election day to a weekend day to increase the country’s historically dismal voter turnout. According to the group, 15 states do not allow early voting, and 27% of non-voters said the main reason why they didn’t vote was because they were too busy or couldn’t get time off to vote.
Q. Why do Republicans have an elephant and Democrats have a donkey?
Back in 1874, cartoonist Thomas Nast used an elephant to depict the Republican vote in his drawing “The Third-Term Panic.” The cartoon was published in Harper’s Weekly after the owner of the New York Herald reportedly criticized the notion of Republican President Ulysses S. Grant running for a third term. (Grant didn’t end up running in the next election).
In the drawing, an “ass” — depicting the New York Herald — scares away other animals in a forest as the elephant — or the Republican vote — looks like it’s about to stumble into a pit.
But that cartoon isn’t where where the Democratic donkey came from. In 1828, Democrat Andrew Jackson’s critics called him a “jackass” because of his populist views and his slogan, “Let the people rule.“ Jackson decided to run with it — even using images of a donkey in his campaign ads. Later, Nast also used a donkey to depict the Democratic party.
Q. Why are Democratic states “blue,” and why are Republican states “red”?
There’s nothing magical about this color scheme. Essentially, the media made it up.
Sure, there are logical reasons to use red and blue — both are colors in the American flag, and they look sharp on infographics because they’re pretty much on opposite ends of the color spectrum.
But the seemingly arbitrary color assignments have actually flip-flopped over the years. In 1980, states won by Republican Ronald Reagan were colored blue; Democrat Jimmy Carter’s states were colored red.
Even as late as 1996, major media outlets were divided on how to color-code the parties. But in 2000, when Americans were subjected to weeks of news about recounts, pregnant chads and electoral infographics, everyone seemed to get on the same page and shaded Republican-leaning states red and Democratic-leaning states blue.
My personal opinion: I am sick of both parties and career politicians. Why does Congress get a different retirement package and the average Joe may or may not get Social Security (if it is still around)? We need term limits in Congress, just like we have for the Executive Branch. However, Congress is the one who has to be a part of this approval process and they are too selfish and greedy to put the good of the people above themselves. As a person who has worked most of my adult life, I believe in fairness. I think the government SHOULD help Americans but I do not think it should be a life long entitlement for people who choose NOT to work when they are ABLE to work. When you put your children on free lunch and you have a maid, THIS is a huge problem. If you get food stamps and you buy filet steaks and lobsters, THIS is a huge problem. There is a huge ENTITLEMENT problem in America. Many Americans feel entitled to welfare, but refuse to live without I phones, fancy clothes, fancy shoes, fancy purses, etc. Too many Americans are living way above their means and expect the government to supplement them. Too many Americans feel entitled to fancy houses that they cannot afford and then they walk away from them. I know it seems easy for me to say all of this when my husband has a good job and we are very fortunate to have a good life. However, I remember being twenty years old, single, and pregnant. I took out student loans my last semester of college to help pay for my daughter and so I could finish school. I remember getting my first teaching job and making $23,000 a year. My first paycheck was not until September 15th and I ran out of money. I went to the bank and took out a loan for $1,000 at an interest rate of 33% (crazy I know…but you do what you have to do). When my ex husband and I divorced, I was a single mom of two kids and a teacher. I took out more student loans in order to get a Masters Degree so that my kids could have a better life and I would not have to struggle as much on a teacher’s salary. It was not fun teaching all day, doing classes at night, and taking my kids to lots of their activities. You do what you have to do in order to make a better life for yourself. I ended up with about $20,000 in student loans. Instead of living way beyond my means, my student loans are now paid off. I have a problem with all of these people who think the government should erase student loans. I did not enjoy the monthly payment of the loans (there are A LOT of things that I can think of that would have been nice to have). I have been very blessed but I have also worked hard. I feel that the government needs to stop enabling so many irresponsible people and spend more money and time helping the people who truly need help (example: parents with disabled children).