It’s election time! But not for president.
President Barack Obama was voted into office in 2008 and was re-elected for another (and final) four year term in 2012. The next presidential election is in 2016.
So what’s this election about? It’s the midterm elections — elections that happen every two years between presidential elections.
Who are we voting for? National, state, as well as local officials. The big one is for members of Congress in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Members of the House of Representatives are elected every two years. (How many of them there are depends on each state’s population. States with more people have more representatives.)
Senators are elected to six-year terms. There are two senators for each state though they’re not all up for re-election at the same time. More than a third of the Senate is up for grabs this time around.
36 governors will be voted for in this election as well. They lead the states.
Other elections include state legislatures (like Congress only at the state level) and local elections that you may have been hearing about in your community.
The elections will take place on November 4 . But early voting has started in some places. President Obama has already cast his early ballot.
Do the midterm elections even matter? Big time! Currently, the Senate is controlled by the Democrats. President Obama is a Democrat. And the House of Representatives is currently controlled by the Republicans.
These midterm elections favor the Republicans winning the Senate. Why? Partly because a president’s approval rating generally goes down after he’s elected.
If that happens, the Senate AND the House of Representatives would be Republican controlled. That’s a lot of power.
These midterm elections are also being super-closely watched because the presidential election is up next.
For an awesome breakdown of who’s up for what and where you can check out the Skimm’s Guide to the midterm elections . It’s great, including interactive maps, the candidates, and the issues.