ISABEL SILAGY, INTRO: This is Beach Weekly.
(SOUNDBITE OF “SUMMER SOLSTICE ON THE JUNE PLANET” – BAIL BONDS)
Welcome to Season Nine Episode 13 of Beach Weekly, a podcast created and produced by Long Beach State student run newspaper The Daily Forty-Niner. I’m your host, Isabel Silagy, and welcome to this very special midterm election recap episode.
But before we get into everything, let’s hear a word from our sponsor. Hey, CSULB! I’m here to remind you to pick up a Go Beach! pass from Long Beach Transit. Wait, was I supposed to read that out loud?
It’s the bus pass that saves you money on trips to and from campus. For real, is that part of the script? And that’s all there is to say about it! See how to get your Go Beach! pass at ridelbt.com/students
All right. As I’m sure you know, the 2022 midterm elections happened last week both in California and around the country. If you were able to vote, I hope you did. Lots of interesting things came out of the elections, some that were predicted and some that were definitely not predicted.
That being said, let’s get into things and break down what happened last week, over the weekend and what’s still happening and what these elections even were for and what they mean going forward. So midterm elections in the United States are held every four years, right, about at the midpoint of a president’s four year term of office.
They are different from the general presidential election because the president is obviously not up for reelection. In midterms, all members of the House of Representatives are up for reelection, as well as one third of the U.S. Senate and various state and local office elections are decided.
So here in California, we voted for governor, multiple statewide propositions, state representatives and some cities also voted for city and local officials. So let’s break down some of the major things that happened.
In the race for Long Beach mayor, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson is leading Councilwoman Suzie Price. So as of Saturday night when this podcast was recorded, Richardson had about 54% of the vote while Price was coming in at about 46% of the vote. The race has yet to be called, but Richardson is expected to win.
Former Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia was elected to represent California’s 42nd Congressional District. Garcia defeated Republican opponent John Briscoe and is the first LGBTQ immigrant elected to Congress. Garcia will officially take office on January 3rd, 2023.
In the Los Angeles mayoral race, which I’m sure you all know was going on because there were so many TV ads and radio ads all over the place. U.S. Representative Karen Bass is leading billionaire Rick Caruso in the polls. So the race has yet to be called. But again, as of the time this podcast was recorded on Saturday night, Bass had a slight lead of about 58.38% of the vote, but Caruso was holding at 49.62%, according to CBS News. So as you know, that is a very, very, very slim margin of the vote, has yet to be called, probably will be called next week, but it may even go into a recount just because the difference in votes is so, so, so small.
Okay. Also in California, we voted on seven statewide propositions and out of those seven, only three passed. So propositions one, 28 and 31 passed. Proposition one amended the California state constitution to protect reproductive rights across the state. Proposition one was California’s response to the overturning of the Roe v Wade decision back in June of this year. And reproductive rights overall were a primary issue for voters across the country in the midterm elections. So this proposition passed, and that means that abortion rights will now be in the California Constitution and protected in the Constitution going forward. So that’s really a big deal.
Additionally, Prop 28 was passed and that will provide additional funding for arts programs and education in K-12 public schools. And Proposition 31 was passed to uphold a ban on the retail sale of flavored tobacco products. This measure was passed despite the popularity of flavored vape and nicotine products across the state. I’m sure many of you also enjoy those products. So this is a little controversial because it means that Californians will now no longer be able to buy those products.
Here in Long Beach Measure E passed, which will establish a police oversight commission and director in Long Beach, replacing the current Citizen Police Complaint Commission. So the oversight director, which will be appointed by the City Council, will have the authority to access police records and data and be on scene during major altercations and address issues in the Long Beach Police Department.
The new Oversight Commission will consist of seven members, all of whom will be appointed by the Long Beach mayor. Under the new measure, the Oversight Committee will review the recommendations and receive briefings from the director and the city council.
And in other major news in California, Alex Padilla made history by being elected the first Latino in the U.S. Senate from California. Padilla was appointed to the Senate last year by California Governor Gavin Newsom to fill the seat that was vacated by Kamala Harris after she became vice president to Joe Biden.
Okay. Now let’s go in to talking a little bit about what happened on the national level in the midterm elections. So before the elections, Democrats controlled, obviously, the White House with President Joe Biden being in office, as well as both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House in the months and weeks leading into the elections. Political analyst statisticians and elected officials widely expected a “red wave”, basically, which means a strong showing from Republicans in the elections. Republicans were expected to take control of the U.S. House by a wide margin and were thought to be in a decent position to also take control of the U.S. Senate.
However, the “red wave” was not nearly as large or strong as people expected it to be, which led many Republican pundits and elected officials to express their disappointment, either in news, interviews or online. This was due in part to the fact that the Democratic voter base had a stronger showing than anticipated, which kind of like softened the blow of the red wave. And because independent and nonpartisan voters trended to the left, which obviously helps Democratic candidates win elections, that either they weren’t necessarily expected to or they expected the Republican candidate in that race to have a really good shot at winning.
So those two factors definitely helped Democrats have a better showing than analysts and elected officials thought that they would. According to CNN, 49% of independent voters nationwide chose the Democratic candidates for Congress, while 47% chose Republicans. That’s not a huge margin, but that is enough to make a difference in a lot of tight races.
And this trend is fairly consistent with independent voter trends in midterm elections throughout the last decade. Late Saturday night, Democrats officially took control of the U.S. Senate after Senator Catherine Cortez Masto won her race for reelection in Nevada and Senator Mark Kelly won his reelection race in Arizona.
Both of those senators are Democrats. So with those races being called Democrats officially retook, control of the Senate, control of the U.S. House, though, remains up in the air, while 21 congressional races have remained undecided as of Saturday night.
Republicans hold 211 seats while Democrats hold 203. But Democrats could potentially make up the difference through the 21 races that remain undecided, as multiple of them are expected to lean Democrat in the results. However, it is still generally believed that Republicans will end up with control of the House, although nothing has really followed predictions thus far. So do not quote me on that.
Okay. Before we jump into some top headlines from the elections, let’s hear a word from our sponsor.
Southland Credit Union is offering a $200 bonus when you open a free Long Beach State checking account at their new campus branch in the University Student Union Plaza. This offer is only available during the fall 2022 semester. So visit beachcu.com for more information now.
All right. To wrap up. Here are the top headlines from the midterm elections.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis won reelection by the largest margin of any Florida governor in 40 years. Right. You heard that correctly. Four. Zero. 40 years. DeSantis won approximately 60% of the vote, more than one and a half million more votes than his opponent. DeSantis’ reelection yielded quite a different result than his initial election to Florida governor office four years ago, when he won that race by less than a half percentage point.
It is widely believed that DeSantis landslide victory may serve as the genesis for his run for U.S. president in 2024. Democrat John Fetterman defeated Republican Dr. Oz. Yes, the television personality Dr. Oz in the run for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania.
Fetterman previously served as the state’s lieutenant governor and is hailed for his relatability to voters and his casual demeanor, which includes wearing hoodies and work boots to campaign events. Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker are headed to a runoff election for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia.
The runoff will be held in the summer because both Warnock and Walker failed to reach the 50% vote threshold that is necessary to win a Senate election. In Georgia, Republican Brian Kemp won his reelection race for governor of Georgia, defeating Stacey Abrams for the second time.
And Republican Greg Abbott defeated Beto O’Rourke to win his reelection for governor of Texas. For Abrams and O’Rourke, their losses in this election are their third and fourth election losses in a row, respectively. And though they were once considered the future of the Democratic Party, these losses are now calling into question both of their political futures.
Democrat Gretchen Whitmer won her reelection race for governor of Michigan. This race was a huge win for Democrats, as well as a personal triumph for Whitmer, who experienced a somewhat turbulent first term as governor, which included a foiled plot by extremists to kidnap her.
And finally, here are a few rapid fire headlines from the elections. Maxwell Frost of Florida was elected to Congress, making him the first member of Gen Z to do so. Wes Moore was elected governor of Maryland, making him the first Black governor of the state.
And Maura Healey and Tina Kotek were elected the first openly lesbian governors in the U.S.. Keeley was elected governor of Massachusetts and Kotek was elected governor of Oregon already, folks.
That is it for Season Nine Episode 13 of Beach Weekly.
Thank you so much for listening to this special episode. We hope you enjoyed it. Thank you to our editor, Andy Nguyen and our producer, Leila Nunez. If you want to learn more about some of the things we discussed today and of course, stay up to date on campus news head on over to Daily49er.com. And if you want to be the most informed person in your friend group, follow us on socials at Daily49er so you don’t miss anything that happens on the Long Beach State campus and in our surrounding areas.
We will not see you here next week because it’s fall break. I hope you enjoy the break, relax, de-stress and enjoy the holiday if you’re celebrating. We’ll see you later, everyone.
(SOUNDBITE OF “SUMMER SOLSTICE ON THE JUNE PLANET” – BAIL BONDS)