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Culture > News

Why the Texas Senate Race Matters

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SMU chapter.

One of the hot issues in today’s political arena is the Senate race between current Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, and Democratic candidate, Beto O’Rourke. After Beto O’Rourke was invited onto The Ellen Show after a video of him discussing kneeling during the national anthem went viral, this race is becoming an increasingly central topic. In part one of this article, I’m going to share why Senate races matter, and in the second part, I’ll discuss the views of the Republic candidate Ted Cruz and the Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke.

Image via Beto For Texas


Image via Ted Cruz for Senate


The freedom to vote is a right that should not be taken for granted. However, sometimes it can feel like our vote doesn’t make a difference because it is one of millions, especially in presidential elections. Senate elections are different, though, because not only are there fewer votes but the senator who wins has a more direct impact on you than a presidential election because the senatorial winner impacts your state directly.

To start: 

Each state elects two senators for six-year terms. Every two years, one-third of the Senate is up for election, so it is continually changing (when it works correctly). The exclusive responsibilities of the Senate include impeachment proceedings, reviewing and approving or rejecting presidential nominations for executive and judicial posts, approving treaties, expelling Senators, and conducting investigations. Because this is a tremendous amount of complex work, the Senate is divided into 20 permanent committees, four joint committees and several temporary committees. I could dive into all the details of these, but that is not what this article is about, so if you are interested in more information, here is a link. 

Image Via Time Magazine


Voting in the Senate race is important for a number of reasons, but here are my top two:

1. The Senate approves Supreme Court Justices 

With President Trump’s nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, going into the confirmation process with the Senate, the ratio of Democrats to Republicans really affects who gets approved. A majority vote of 60 is required, and given that there are only 100 Senators, the numbers really matter. Voting for a candidate that has similar views with you allows for you to be better represented than if you only voted in presidential elections. 

2. Party agendas

Republicans currently hold the majority party in both Senate and House of Representatives, so the Republican agenda would be deeply affected if the Democrats had a majority in one of the houses. Party agendas include everything from healthcare and welfare to taxes. Knowing which party you agree with and voting that way gives you the opportunity to play an active role in society and assures that you have a say in the way government works and what it is trying to achieve. 

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that the Senate Race matters, but if you’re still not sure if your vote really counts, read this article. Next week I’ll discuss the views of both Beto O’Rourke and Ted Cruz on important issues today, from gun safety to women’s rights, so stay tuned!

Jaymie is a sophomore at Southern Methodist University majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science. She is most definitely addicted to coffee and loves glitter, flowers, and all things fuzzy. A true El Paso native, she is a huge fan of Khalid, appreciates some good Mexican food, and loves hiking. catch her on Instagram: @jaymiepaigeruddock
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