Golf Course Management

NOV 2018

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 29 of 99

28 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 11.18 is year, the entire House of Representa- tives and one-third of the Senate will be on the ballot on Nov. 6, along with the governors in 36 states and many state representatives. Republicans control the Senate 51-49 and the House of Representatives 237-193 (with six vacancies). At stake are many of the envi - ronmental and labor issues that impact golf courses around the country. e fact that this is a midterm year — when the president is not on the ballot — adds a degree of uncertainty. Here's what we know so far. e House is more likely to change par - ties than the Senate. At first glance, the margin of votes in the Sen - ate makes it look likelier to change parties. Democrats only need to net two Repub - lican seats to take control. How- ever, they first have to defend their own incumbents, and that will not be easy. Of the 26 Democratic senators up for re-election this year, President Trump won 10 of their states — and five of those by double digits. is in - cludes Democratic incumbents like Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Jon Tester of Montana and Claire McCaskill of Missouri. All are facing competitive challengers. In com - parison, only three Senate seats currently held by Republicans have a chance of changing par - ties: Dean Heller's in Nevada, and the open Senate seats in Arizona and Tennessee. Mean - while in the House, Democrats need to net a larger number of seats to gain control — 23 — but they have a larger number of favorable congressional districts where this may occur. e president's party almost always loses seats in the midterms. Call it a midterm jinx or simply the desire for change, but in almost every midterm election since 1966, the presi - dent's party lost seats in Congress (the two ex- ceptions were in 1998 and 2002). e lower the president's popularity, the greater the loss: Presidents with a sub-50 approval rating lose an average of 40 seats in the midterms. Voter turnout is the wild card. We know that Democrats and Republicans remain mo - tivated to vote. Question is: Will they turn out in numbers sufficient to decide congressional races? We know that in recent years about 60 Elections matter; keep an eye on midterms (advocacy) Robert Helland Chava McKeel percent of those eligible to vote have done so in a presidential election. at number drops to around 40 percent in the midterms. So, the political parties are chasing fewer voters. Not to be forgotten are the governors' races. irty-six states will hold elections for governor, including California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Michigan and Ohio. Twenty- six of those seats are currently held by Repub - licans, nine are held by Democrats, and one is held by an independent. Many of them do not have an incumbent running, which increases the chance that they could change parties. Whoever wins the gubernatorial races will have a say over national as well as statewide issues, by helping to draw congressional district boundaries as part of the 2020 census. Elections matter. Controlling the House or Senate, for example, gives a political party the chance to move its agenda. It gains control over committees, which gives it the power to move legislation, appropriate funds and conduct oversight of the executive branch. e leader of the party also becomes the leader of that chamber: the speaker in the House or the majority leader in the Senate. Our Gov - ernment Affairs team will continue to advo- cate on issues important to superintendents, regardless of which party controls Congress, to make sure the decisions being made con - sider the impact on golf. Back by popular demand is the #golfvotes campaign. GCSAA conducted this social media campaign in 2014 and 2016 during the month leading up to election day. We want golf 's voice to be heard. We want lawmakers to know that golf is paying attention to what they are doing. We hope you join us this year in having your voice heard in this unique way: As soon as you vote, take a selfie (with your "I voted" sticker, if possible), and post your photo on social media with the #golfvotes hashtag. Happy election season. Robert Helland is GCSAA's director, congressional and federal affairs. Chava McKeel is GCSAA's director, govern - ment affairs. Our Government Affairs team will continue to advocate on issues important to superintendents, regardless of which party controls Congress, to make sure the decisions being made consider the impact on golf. I voted 4

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