(CNN Spanish) — On November 22, there will be midterm elections in the United States, elections that take place every two years (in the middle of the presidential term) and that are crucial to the country’s direction, for a variety of reasons.
On the one hand, because they would define the control that the Democratic and Republican parties would have over Congress, by the narrow margin currently in the hands of Democrats. In addition, the governors of 36 states would also be elected, which could change the political map of America but there is more: they are also considered a type of referendum on the management of the president, in this case, on Joe Bien.
What is Voting?
Thus, on Tuesday, November 22, 435 seats in the House of Representatives, whose members run every two years, and 35 seats in the 100-member Senate, whose mandate is six years, would be defined. This is no trivial process: The initiatives and challenges of the last two years of the Biden government, the final phase of his term, have largely depended on the results, in addition to laying the foundation for the 2024 presidential elections.
Officially, there are several parties participating in the election, but the real battle in the United States is between the two major parties: Republicans and Democrats. This is because the electoral system gives seats to the party that receives the most votes, unlike in many countries where the proportional system provides parliamentary representation to minority parties.
Of the 36 states to elect governors next November (Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona) are five (Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona) that moved from Republican to Democratic hands in 2020.
What are the important issues of election?
This election could be the prelude to an election rematch between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in 2024, so the main issues today will probably remain as Americans elect their next president in two years.
The US Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade, last June, ending the federal right to access abortion and the post-existence right in each state has been one of the axes of Democratic candidates. Promising to protect that right, extend it, or even enact a law in Congress, many have anticipated the prospect of victory over undecided and independent voters.
Meanwhile, Republicans have turned to taking advantage of voters’ concerns about the economy, particularly inflation—which still ranks as the top issue in most polls; And on crime, to generate backlash against Democrats at all levels.
And they have history on their side: Over the past 150 years, the party that occupied the White House has lost seats in Congress in four elections. Additionally, Biden’s approval rating is 41% against 54% disapproval, according to CNN’s latest poll, which tracks the average of recent polls.
Why only Tuesday? Why November?
The mid-term elections will be held on November 22. Actually, it is a tradition that is almost two centuries old, and it has nothing to do with the country we know today.
In the mid-nineteenth century, the United States was an originally agricultural country, and voters—white people—had to travel to exercise their franchise, which they did by horse or cart.
But they could not do it on weekends because they were reserved for religious observance—Saturday for Jews and Sunday for Christians—and going home on Wednesday, market day. Thus, it remains only to travel on Monday and vote on Tuesday.
For its part, the month of November was a month that fit in very well as the harvest season was coming to an end and the worst winter had not yet arrived.
The reasons behind Tuesday in November do not fit very well with the current lives of most Americans and for this reason, movements to change the day have emerged in recent years, aimed at increasing participation figures. Election.
elephant and donkey, red and blue
Beyond the specifics of each election, the truth is that elections are full of symbols. One of them is the one who identifies as a Republican with an elephant and a Democrat with a donkey.
The images do not have the same origin, but are random, although they were popularized by the same cartoonist. In 1874 Thomas Nast first drew a picture using an elephant to represent the Republican vote which was published in the magazine Harper Weekly.
In 1828, one of the most important figures of the Democratic Party – Andrew Jackson – was compared to a donkey by his opponents, something that did not completely upset the candidate, who adopted the animal as a symbol. .
Nor is there anything magical or special about the colors red and blue, but it seems that the media was responsible for popularizing their ties with the two major parties.
It so happens that the assignment of vowels was not always the same, there seems to be a consensus for nearly two decades. The reasons seem simple: They are both colors of the American flag, and they show up so well in images and infographics because they are so much on the opposite end of the color spectrum.
Simone Pathé, with information from Harry Anten, CNN’s Holly Yan