Missouri Midterms

It is unclear which direction the Missouri Midterm elections will go. It is important to stay informed.


Photo by usa.gov | Graphic by Matthew Pecoraro

Becoming involved in government is important, even at an early age.

Election after election, Missouri has been a consistent stronghold for Republicans. Only three of the 114 counties and the city of St. Louis were majorly Democrat in the 2016 presidential election according to nytimes.com. In the recent primary elections in August, a shift occurred. Proposition A, commonly known as Right To Work, was failed by Missouri voters. A more liberal stance was supported, and a change occurred that may forever affect Missouri politics.

If passed, Right to Work would have given workers the right to choose whether they wanted to join the labor union at their workplace, avoiding having to pay union dues. The current law is that workers must join the union if their workplace has been unionized, and this became the popular view of Missourians. On election day, 67 percent of Missourians voted against Proposition A, according to ballotpedia.org. This was an unusual result since a no vote on Right to Work is a more liberal view with Democrats historically supporting unions. The vote affected all workers in Missouri, including students, teachers and staff members. Jamie Buchner, Fort Zumwalt Education Association Government Relations Chair, was one of the many Missourians who went to vote in the primary election.

“The people in Missouri are a working class people that take their personal rights in the workplace very seriously,” Buchner said.

The failure of Right to Work shows a potential shift in the voting patterns of Missourians. Some voters who consider themselves Republicans may have taken a more liberal stance on Proposition A, but still intend to vote a Republican ticket in the midterm election. But the failure of Right To Work was not the only change on primary election day. On that day, 664,889 registered Republicans came out, while 607,577 Democrats voted. Although more Republicans voted than Democrats, the number of Democratic votes drastically increased from the 2016 primary election. In the 2016 primary election, 663,586 Republicans voted compared to 319,886 Democrats.

With the midterm election coming up in November, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill and Republican Congresswoman Ann Wagner are up for re-election. Mayor of St. Louis Lyda Krewson is among many local politicians who are encouraging voters to get to the polls and vote.

“The upcoming midterm elections present a great opportunity for the St. Louis area,” Krewson said. “This is the time for our residents to make their voices heard. For those of you who have felt uncomfortable with the direction in which our country is moving, whether that is politically, socially or related to the environment, now is your chance to elect representatives who will fight for you.”

The question of Missouri being in the midst of a political shift will not be answered until the midterm election in November, but it seems that voter’s opinions are unpredictable. Even in a highly conservative state, liberal viewpoints on legislation can always be passed, or vise-versa. The voters have the capability to decide who is in power.

“I always encourage young people to reach out to their local representatives and get involved,” Krewson said. “There are many opportunities for internships, volunteering opportunities or simply to stay up to date with what is going on in your area.”

Whether one identifies as a Democrat, Republican or any other political party, it is important that each and every person makes their opinion heard. The United States is a democratic republic, meaning that citizens elect individuals to represent them and advocate for their needs. Voting is a right that many people have fought for throughout history, and they did it so the well being of every citizen could be considered. The political path of America truly lies in the hands of the voters.