2022 Midterm Elections

The 2022 midterm elections are approaching fast, being held on the second Tuesday of November, the 8th. Headlining the ballot are the Gubernatorial and US Senate races. While the Presidential elections aren’t held in this cycle, all 435 House and 34 Senate seats are up for election nationwide, meaning that the midterms are extremely important, considering how they can change the country’s political agenda for the remaining 2 years of the presidential term. Major statewide and county elections held also can have a large impact on all of us.

In the hotly contested U.S. Senate race, incumbent Marco Rubio (R) and Val Demings (D) are the seat’s leading candidates. As members of Congress, both do tend to vote along party lines, however as you will see, they still have some common ground. Learn more about the two candidates below.

US Senate candidate Marco Rubio (incumbent)

Rubio has been a US Senator for the last two terms (since 2011), also previously serving as the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

Rubio’s goals are: (per his website, http://marcorubio.com )

  • Advancing commonsense, conservative ideas
  • Restoring the American Dream
  • Bringing good jobs back to America
  • Making our communities safer

Demings has been a US Representative for FL’s 10th district for the last 3 terms (since 2017),  she was also previously Chief of Police for the Orlando Police Department.

US Senate candidate Val Demings

Val Demings’ goals are: (per her website, http://valdemings.com )

  • Creating new, good-paying jobs
  • Access to high-quality, affordable healthcare
  • Increasing funding for affordable housing
  • Legislation to resist climate change
  • Increasing funding for law enforcement

Rubio currently has a 4-point average advantage in the polls over Demings, with each polling 47.5% and 43.4%, respectively (via FiveThirtyEight).


The Gubernatorial race is the other big race in this election cycle, headlined by incumbent Ron Desantis (R) and Charlie Crist (D). This race is arguably the most captivating, with both candidates having served 1 term as Governor of Florida. The two candidates have polar opposite beliefs on some of the biggest issues in this election cycle, such as abortion rights, healthcare, inflation/economy, immigration, and the environment. Learn more about each of the candidates below.

FL Gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis (incumbent)

DeSantis has been the governor since 2019, previously serving as a US Representative for FL’s 6th district.

DeSantis’s goals are: (per his website, desantisplaybook.com )

  • Putting kids first & protecting parents’ rights
  • Providing tax relief
  • Keeping our communities safe
  • Combating the border crisis
  • Protecting Florida’s natural resources
  • Fighting back against special interests
  • Securing our elections
  • Supporting Veterans and military families
  • Standing up for moms and Florida families
FL Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist

Crist has served as a US Representative for FL’s 13th district, previously serving as Governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011.

Crist’s goals are: (per his website, charliecrist.com )

  • Defending reproductive freedom
  • Increasing voting access
  • Ensuring clean water for all Floridians
  • Creating a state office for new Floridians
  • Ensuring justice for all (by restoring voting rights, reducing gun violence, legalizing marijuana, and reforming FL’s justice system)
  • Making Florida Safer
  • Lowering housing costs
  • Lowering energy costs
  • Supporting veterans and their families
  • Lowering property insurance

DeSantis currently has a 7.7 point average in the polls over Crist, with each polling 50.2% and 42.5%, respectively (via FiveThirtyEight).


The OCPS schoolboard District 2 and 3 races had to go into a runoff, as they were too close to call. As students and faculty at AHS, these two races would likely have the most immediate impact on our day-to-day lives.

Top: Heather Ashby and Maria Salamanca, Bottom: Alicia Farrant and Michael Daniels.

The District 2 runoff is between Maria Salamanca and Heather Ashby. Salamanca focused her campaign on prioritizing pay increases for veteran teachers, putting less focus on socio-political issues in the classroom. Ashby focused her campaign on addressing teacher and bus shortages, as well as enhancing school safety.

The District 3 Runoff is between Alicia Farrant and Michael Daniels. Farrant focused her campaign on annual pay raises for teachers, and for her support of parental rights, including the Parental Rights in Education (dubbed “Don’t Say Gay”). Daniels focused on enhancing diversity and mental health resources in schools, also supporting pay increases for teachers.


This election cycle has many polarizing issues which lead experts to believe that this election will have a relatively high turnout. When asked which issues they care about, AP English Language & Debate teacher Mrs. Brown mentioned education, stating that “what is pro-teachers is pro-students.” AP US Government teacher Mr. Whitcomb mentioned several, including lowering government spending, keeping FL income tax-free, and protecting preborn babies.

Debate Captain Samuel Nuebel thinks these issues would benefit the Republicans more in the upcoming election, explaining that “America seems divided into two different echo chambers, each with its own completely different set of issues important to them in this election. I don’t feel that there is any cause that the democrats are truly rallying around this election cycle, except for Jan 6th, which doesn’t quite have the same appeal as some of the conservative issues. On the other hand, the republicans seem to share a strong sentiment that they are the key to improving the economy and to resisting social progress, and the conservative media has made a strong narrative pushing that.”

The midterms could have a large impact on national policy. If either of the houses of Congress flips Republican, it could mean extra difficulty for President Joe Biden to accomplish his (and his party’s) goals. A split Congress would lead to an increased number of bills dying, with primarily bipartisan bills passing.

The current breakdown of the US Senate.

The Senate is currently controlled by the Democrats, with the Democrats and Republicans split 50/50, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker. Predictions by FiveThirtyEight give a 45% chance of the Republicans winning control, with the Democrats, therefore, having a 55% chance of remaining in control of the Senate.

Mr. Whitcomb offered his take, stating that “The House is going to flip. I see [the Republicans] gaining 28 seats. The Senate should be interesting. It all comes down to 4 states…Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada. Democrats control 3 of those seats. I would say Georgia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania flip which would give Republicans a 51-seat majority.”

The current breakdown of the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives is also currently controlled by the Democrats, who hold a 220-212 seat advantage over the Republicans. However, experts predict a high likelihood for the House to flip, with FiveThirtyEight giving an 81% chance of the Republicans winning control, with the Democrats, therefore, having a 19% chance of remaining in control of the House of Representatives.




Important dates and info concerning the election are below.

Early Voting: October 24th- November 6th. (7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. each day; early voting can be done at any location)

General Election: November 8th, 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Deadline to return your Vote-by-Mail ballot: November 8th, 7:00 p.m.


Polling Locations can be found at https://www.ocfelections.com/2022-polling-locations

You can find your polling location at https://www.ocfelections.com/find-my-polling-place

Voting options, what you need to bring, and more information about how to vote can be found at https://www.ocfelections.com/how-to-vote