Midterm Elections Could Bring New Educational Opportunities for the Printing Industry
We are just one week away from the Midterm Elections and there’s no clear answer on what the outcome might be. The real questions are: will there be a Democratic blue wave to shake things up in the House and Senate or a GOP red wall that holds the line? Most importantly, what will this mean for the printing and packaging industry?
Leading up to Election Day, political analysts can look at tried-and-true data points, such as Presidential approval, the state of the economy and consumer confidence, to try to forecast what will happen, but many other variables come into play.
In September, we saw the nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which is likely to have an effect. West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, a Democrat who crossed party lines and voted for the nomination will likely keep his seat, while in North Dakota, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, a sponsor of postal legislation, voted the other way. She’s in a very conservative state and her numbers have steadily gone down since.
One of the greatest unknown variables is who will show up and vote on Election Day. Right now, the GOP has that in its favor. Typically, an older, less diverse population shows up to cast their ballots. But we saw a disruption trend in the 2016 election with many newer voters - so anything can happen.
Some analysts are predicting that it’s not if the House will flip from Republican to Democrat, but more so by how many seats. The Democrats have to flip about 23-24 seats to get the majority and there are 30 seats that could go either way. In the Senate, only one third of the seats are up for reelection every two years and this year, the Democrats have more of those seats to defend.
If the Democrats flip the House and the Senate stays Republican, there are real industry opportunities such as consumer-friendly legislation and approaches to paper advocacy. When the results are in, rest assured PIA will begin the process of building relationships with new members of the legislature to help educate them on the important issues that impact our industry like postal reform, environmental regulation, tax reform and trade policy.
I look forward to seeing what the outcomes on election night will be and I am eager to show some of the new members of Congress how the printing industry is a driving force in the American economy. I encourage you to take a look at some of the numbers we have compiled at PrintPowersAmerica.com and become involved on the grassroots level by hosting plant tours of your facilities, particularly with any new members of the House and Senate. The more we can educate our elected officials about the key legislative issues that affect our industry, the more impact we can have together as one voice. And, on Nov. 6, I strongly encourage you to exercise your right to vote.
Michael Makin was appointed President and CEO of Printing Industries of America on August 1, 2002. Born and raised in Montreal, Makin attended Carleton University in Ottawa where graduated with honors with a degree in Journalism in 1986. He also holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix. After a brief stint as a reporter and public affairs officer with the Canadian government, he began his career in association management 20 years ago. Prior to joining Printing Industries of America, Makin was President of the Canadian Printing Industries Association and for almost 10 years served as an executive with the Canadian Construction Association.