Queens and the Midterms: What’s Obama’s Role?

By CHANCE ANDRE & CHARLENE NIEVES

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Since Donald Trump won the 2016 election, Democrats have faced a drop in voter support. According to a New York Times article, no one was going out to vote and support the ideals that they believe in or rather fight against the ideals they oppose. Fast forward to today and we’re in the midst of what appears to be a House swing, a “blue wave” is being predicted – a move that would shift the power of the House of Representatives into the hands of the Democrats. Former President Barack Obama has made his return to politics to smooth things along for the Democratic party. He hopes to get more supporters to go out and vote to make this blue wave a reality.

Students in Queens are part of the surge in interest. Tafari Wong-Johnson is a 22-year-old Political Science major at CUNY York College. The Jamaica, Queens resident was thrilled to see Obama back in action giving his support. He said, “I think it’s good on his part to try and help out, after the presidential election it was like everyone lost some hope but hopefully his presence makes a difference.”

A recent Time magazine article said there are believers out there that feel this can make all the difference in the world for the Democrats or just give the Republicans just the motivation they need to seize control of the House.

According to Time, former President Barack Obama has returned to political conversation by urging voters to go out and support the Democrats in the upcoming Midterm Election. He said “It is not normal what we’re seeing. It is radical — On November 6th, we have a chance to restore some sanity to our politics,” Obama is not a fan of the current political regime and believes that the only check on the abuse of power in government resides in the American people.

Fallon Conrad is a 27-year-old stockbroker and currently lives in Flatbush, Brooklyn. When asked about her thoughts on Obama’s involvement in the upcoming midterm election, she said, “Obama probably shouldn’t be equated to automatic votes, maybe the Democrats shouldn’t rely heavily on him to pull them through, they need to make sure the ones who support them have their voices heard as well.”

The New York Times says Democrats are hoping Obama’s backing gives them the edge they need to overthrow the majority Republican House of Representatives. Obama hopes his support and campaigning will be enough to get voters to show the same support they have for him to the Democratic party in the upcoming Midterm Election.

Business Insider reports that Obama’s emergence in this upcoming Midterm Election might have a negative effect on the way the polls look in the end. He has always had a harder time turning his supporters into democratic votes. According to Business Insider his campaigning for Hillary Clinton didn’t help her win the 2016 election. Also, Obama’s re-entry into politics could give motivation to the Republicans. While Obama’s involvement may pose a threat to the Republicans keeping their power in the House of Representatives it doesn’t make the “blue wave” a guarantee.

Glenn Lewis is the Director of Journalism at CUNY York College and he says he has faith that Obama has the potential to sway some undecided voters. However, Lewis expressed his confusion as to why Obama would choose to wait so long before joining the fight again, adding it didn’t serve the Democrats well in the 2016 Presidential Election. When asked if the former President’s involvement will be enough to push the Democrats over the edge he said, “[Obama] will not likely have enough of an impact to singlehanded change the balance of power in the House of Representatives. The races are too varied and the political environment too complex this time around for one politician to control the argument.”

For those undecided, Obama says in his Cleveland speech, standing on the sidelines and watching this year’s midterm election pass by should be considered dangerous.

 

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