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Friday, February 03, 2023

[The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the Alligator.]

A recent opinion column in this newspaper claimed that voters this month “vehemently rejected Obama’s agenda.” However, this could not be further from the truth. As much as some would like, a simple national narrative cannot be derived from this election. While it is true that the GOP had an overall victory, it had little to do with a supposedly unpopular presidential agenda. Despite personal ratings, President Barack Obama’s agenda itself remains popular and has had important victories. Voters in deep red Arkansas, Alaska, Nebraska and South Dakota voted overwhelmingly to support raising minimum wage. In Washington, a strong majority of voters chose to enact strict background checks on gun sales. The GOP’s Senate wave can be attributed simply to a favorable map: Senate elections were held mostly in red states, where increased partisan sorting made it highly unlikely for Democratic incumbents to hold their seats. This year’s midterm elections looked very similar to those that occurred in other presidents’ sixth year in office. Political observers love to jump to conclusions after elections. This year, however, the best conclusion is that there is none.

Fahad Khan

UF political science junior

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