Tuesday October 21st 2014

Elections 2012 heat up

ANA urges you to use every opportunity to let your voice be heard by challengers and incumbents alike

The 2012 elections are now less than 10 months away. These elections are important to watch due to redistricting on the congressional level and, of course, the presidential race.

Over the past year, the Republican primary run has seen many candidates rise in popularity above the field, only to slide back when the next candidate enjoyed his or her turn.

Meanwhile, President Obama is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination. With no Democratic opponent to engage, the president has yet to fully launch his campaign. This will surely change once the Republican nominee becomes clear.

The 2012 elections will be the first elections after the 2010 census. This means that we will see members of Congress running in new districts, as reapportioned by their states. Some states, such as Florida, Nevada, South Carolina, and Texas, have gained congressional seats, and will have open seat races for the new seats in 2012. Other states, such as Illinois, Iowa, New York, and Ohio, are losing seats. This means that members of Congress in the eliminated seats will either choose to retire or will run in a different district. In such a fluid electoral landscape, we will see races in which one sitting member of Congress will be forced to run against another sitting member of Congress. In fact, some states are still working on their new disctrict maps, with some not projected to complete their work until June 2012. This makes for difficult campaigning for candidates and incumbents who cannot even be sure for which seat they are running.

In the states that have completed their maps, there are a number of high profile member-versus-member races developing. In California, two senior Democrats, Congressmen Brad Sherman (D) and Howard Berman (D), are running against each other in a San Fernando Valley district. Even though California did not gain or lose any seats, changes were made to the map to reflect population changes and movement in the past decade.

In Iowa, which lost one seat, two senior members were put in to the same district, setting up a key race in 2012. Democrat Leonard Boswell and Republican Tom Latham are running against each other in the Des Moines-area district. This race is rated as a toss up, and will be interesting to watch through the coming year.

With important congressional races in most states and the presidential race looming large, the American Nurses Association (ANA) urges you to use every opportunity to let your voice be heard by challengers and incumbents alike. Town hall meetings and campaign events are great opportunities to see what candidates have to say on issues important to you. And remember to make sure you are registered to vote at your current home address so that on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, your voice is heard.

— Adrianne Drollette is a senior political action specialist at ANA.

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