Midterm elections will take place on Nov. 8. Positions for governor and lieutenant governor, U.S. House of Representatives seats, and a Senate seat are up for election in Pennsylvania.
According to a poll by Five Thirty Eight, as of Nov. 1, Josh Shapiro leads the governor polls at 51.1%, and John Fetterman is slightly leading the U.S. Senate race with 46.9%. In a different election simulation by Five Thirty Eight, Susan Wild (D) and Lisa Scheller (R) are in a “dead heat,” with Scheller winning 52 of every 100 votes cast over Wild’s 48 for every 100 votes.
This is how the candidates were polling early last month:
Regardless of party affiliation, Lehigh students and professors feel strongly that this midterm election is important, as well as its voter turnout.
Brian Fife, chair of the political science department, said elections have consequences if students do not vote, regardless of party affiliation. He thinks his department, and Lehigh as a whole, has made a serious commitment to highlighting these themes.
“We have to remember there are 364 other days and there are so many ways that people of all ages can get involved in politics,” Fife said. “Accentuating the one day is the right message, but the work doesn’t stop on that day.”
Lehigh Votes, the organization responsible for facilitating the observance of election day, known as Civic Engagement Day, helps to ensure this message spans the rest of the days of the year.
Sam Denison, ‘24, president of Lehigh College Democrats, said one way students can get engaged in local politics leading up to election day is by reaching out to local candidates and committees and discussing issues important to constituents.
“The question (for candidates) in every election is, ‘Who is going to vote for you?’ and, ‘Is that base going to turn out?’” Denison said.
Marietta Sisca, ‘23, is the vice president of Lehigh College Republicans and also works with Lehigh Votes.
She said the College Republicans and Democrats have hosted an event, through Lehigh Votes, called “Things We Agree On” for the past two years. It is a moderated debate where students can openly discuss contentious topics, such as abortion and gun control.
Sisca also discussed how the format of the event has changed since its inception.
“We are moving back towards the open but moderated discussion forum where anyone can speak up and we can ‘popcorn’ around the room this year,” Sisca said. “We are still deciding on topics for that.”
This year’s event will be held from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Nov. 8.
Additionally, Fife will hold an event from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. called “Elections Have Consequences.” There will also be an event called “Reclaim Your Future — How to be Civically Engaged 365” from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.