On this past Election Day, November 4th, hundreds of members of the Harvard Community attended the HLS Election Day party and issue discussion. The event hosted by the Journal on Legislation, Harvard Law School Democrats, and Harvard Law Republicans obtained overwhelming bipartisan support and attendance.
The event commenced with a key announcement early in the seven o’clock hour that Republican Senator McConnell achieved reelection in Kentucky. With this reelection, Sen. McConnell may very likely become Senate Majority Leader, as the Republican Party would ultimately claim a majority in the Senate as the night ensued and results were tabulated.
As election coverage continued, members of the Harvard Law School Democrats and Harvard Law Republicans highlighted key issues this midterm election would impact. Taylor Bates of the HLS Democrats stated that both state and national election results would impact legislative drafting and implementation. Specifically, Bates noted that state election results would be highly influential in how individual states implement healthcare reform.
Stephanie Freudenberg of the HLS Republicans, alternatively, focused on the political impact of a Republican Majority in the Senate leading up to the presidential election in 2016. Freudenberg first highlighted that the Republican Majority in the Senate would likely impact judicial and executive nominations. Even without a Republican majority, these nominations are likely to be controversial as President Obama approaches the final two years of his term of office. Freudenberg also projected that more legislation may be passed with a dual Republican Majority in both the House and the Senate.
Attendees shared similar interests with both the HLS Democrats and Republicans. While some were closely following the New Hampshire race between Democrat incumbent Jeanne Shaheen and Republican challenger Scott Brown, others were following state elections from more distant locales. For example, many attendees closely followed the Florida gubernatorial race between incumbent Republican governor Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist. As the night continued, attendees would learn that both incumbents Shaheen and Scott would achieve reelection.
Throughout the night, the Journal on Legislation tracked election results, continuing its “Election Watch” conducted throughout the semester. After coloring the states of North Carolina, Iowa, Colorado, West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana and South Dakota, in Republican Red, all realized that pre-election predictions came to fruition and the Republican Party would now hold a majority in both the House and Senate for the 114th congress.
Similar to the HLS Democrats and Republicans, many in the political arena have opined what a Republican-controlled Senate will mean for future National Politics. This issue discussion will continue on Monday, November 10, as the Journal on Legislation will host a Midterm Election Review Panel discussion. The panel will focus on what the key Republican victories will mean for Congress and President Obama for the next two years, and will feature Professor Steve Ansolabehere and Professor Elaine Kamarck as panelists.