What the Voters Decided

In the wee hours of Wednesday, control of Congress remained unclear. The consequences for higher education could be significant.

November 9, 2022
The white dome of the United States Capitol.

Tuesday was Election Day, but as Wednesday dawned, many key races—and the all-important question of who would control Congress—remained in doubt. That outcome will be significant for colleges, their employees and their students, and when the votes are finally tallied, we’ll tell you what they mean for higher education.

Amid the uncertainty, some things were clear. Most of the key congressional players on higher education, Democrats and Republicans alike, won re-election. Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington State, won re-election, for instance. She has been the chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and faced a tougher than expected re-election bid.

At the same time, many in higher education were watching the states.

In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, easily won re-election. He has feuded with Florida academics over new laws he supported that many professors said violate academic freedom.

In Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, was elected governor. He has vowed to improve job training in high schools and after.

In Massachusetts, Maura Healey was elected governor. A Democrat, she said she would continue to call on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt held by borrowers. She also called for more spending on community colleges, which she called a “major driver of economic mobility.”

There were also referenda on the ballots. In Los Angeles, voters were considering $5.3 billion in campus renovations for the Los Angeles Community College District. The Los Angeles Times said early returns indicated that voters were “leaning toward” passing the measure, which requires 55 percent to pass.

This article will be updated Wednesday as results continue to emerge.

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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