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

A few weeks ago, the midterm elections happened in the United States and results were finalized for all states except for Georgia, which completed a run-off election on December 6, 2022.

As you may have heard in the news, there were some surprises for both the Democratic and Republican parties as the duly anticipated “Red Wave” was more of a red splash.

That being said, Tennessee performed as expected, with eight of the nine allocated House seats going to Republicans. Steve Cohen managed to win a House seat for Democrats in Tennessee’s ninth district, a position he has held since 2007

What does this all mean for Tennesseeans? Here are three takeaways from the midterm elections: 

  • Democrats lost District 5, as Republican Andy Ogles beat Democrat Naomi Campbell who won the seat in 2020. Analysts gave a lot of the redistricting efforts done by Republicans that did to Tennessee’s fifth district, which resulted in only ⅓ of Nashville (which usually has more Democrat leanings) being counted, rather than the congressional map encompassing all of Nashville as it did in the past. 
  • 70% of Tennesseans voted yes on Amendment 1, which seeks to add a right to work law to Tennessee’s constitution. The right to work law is a controversial proposal that essentially removes the requirement for workers to have to pay union fees, regardless of their membership status. Proponents of this law claim that it gives control back to workers and allows them to decide if they wish to contribute to unions. Critics point out that all workers have benefitted from the work of unions, that this law ultimately benefits corporations and not workers, and that the addition of this law contributes to a “free-rider problem”, where unions will have a diminished ability to support the work that they do for workers. Tennessee is now the 28th state to pass this law. 
  • The Republican majority in Tennessee has several, perhaps obvious, implications for laws regarding issues like abortion, transgender rights, and the separation between church and state in public institutions, namely in schools. No access to abortion remains the status quo for Tennessee, as well as laws against transgender rights, and the continued proliferation of religious ideas being brought into K-12 public schools. 

So, there you have it! With Georgia now complete, the 2022 midterms are all wrapped up. Make sure to stay tuned in to your local, state, and federal news stations to know how these midterms will impact politics on a national level and what Tennessee’s role will be.

Chioma Chukwuma

Vanderbilt '23

My name is Chioma and I am a Political Science major at Vanderbilt University! When I'm not working on academics, you can find me reading a fantasy novel, writing a story, or scrolling through Twitter.