By Alexander Brailsford
Although many students do not yet have the ability to legally vote, The Vertical’s mock election granted them the power to voice their preferences in this year’s midterm elections. Some pundits have labeled this year’s elections as the most important of our lifetimes, with many issues potentially arriving at the forefront of the political agenda as Democrats battle the Trump administration.
All eyes have been on Florida this year. Millions of dollars were given to campaigns from both in-state and out-of-state contributors. The current governor, Republican Rick Scott, faces term limits and has instead pursued the seat of Democrat Bill Nelson, who was up for reelection. To fill Governor Scott’s seat, Representative Ron DeSantis (who represented some Nease students prior to redistricting in 2017) veyed for the post with Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum, who aimed to become the state’s first African-American governor.
An illustration of the polarization of today’s political field, DeSantis represents the fiery fervor of President Trump and his followers, whereas Gillum–endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former President Barack Obama–possesses values of near-socialism and the farther left. Many political scientists have labeled Florida as a “report card” from the American people for President Trump’s first two years.
115 Nease students cast votes in The Vertical’s mock election, posted online at our website. The results are fairly surprising considering that more than half of St. Johns County’s registered voters are Republicans. Nease voters selected three Democrats for the governor’s, senator’s, and representative’s seats, whereas, in reality, Floridians elected all three opposing Republicans. This disparity may result from largely only liberals voting in this mock election (thus provoking an interesting point about the power of political apathy).
As of two days after Election Day, both the senatorial and gubernatorial races technically remain up in the air. The margin of victory is so miniscule that a recount may be demanded, and the results may change.
An additional important note to add is that Florida encountered record turnout in most counties for a midterm election as the state faces important issues like Cuban and Mexican migration, refugee resettlement, gun control arising from the Parkland massacre, and the toxic red algae blooms.
|NEASE RESULTS||CURRENT ELECTION RESULTS FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA
(The New York Times)
|Governor||Andrew Gillum (D) – 67%
Ron DeSantis (R) – 32%
Darcy Richardson (Reform) – 1%
|Ron DeSantis (R) – 49.6%
Andrew Gillum (D) – 49.2%
Darcy Richardson (Reform) – 0.6%
|Senator||Bill Nelson (D) – 60%
Rick Scott (R) – 40%
|Rick Scott (R) – 50.1%
Bill Nelson (D) – 49.9%
|Ges Selmont (D) – 51%
John Rutherford (R) – 35%
Joceline Berrios (I) – 9%
Jason Bulger (I) – 5%
|John Rutherford (R) – 65.2%
Ges Selmont (D) – 32.3%
Joceline Berrios (I) – 1.9%
Jason Bulger (I) – 0.6%
|Amendment 4 (Voting Restoration)||YES – 81%
NO – 18%
|YES – 64.5%
NO – 35.5%
|Amendment 7 (First Responder/ Military Benefits; Public Colleges and Universities)||YES – 87%
NO – 13%
|YES – 65.8%
NO – 34.2%
|Amendment 9 (Prohibits Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling; Prohibits Vaping in Enclosed Indoor Workplaces)||YES – 78%
NO – 22%
|YES – 68.9%
NO – 31.1%
Florida statistics from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/06/us/elections/results-florida-elections.html
Cover Photo Credit: RT.com