The 2018 mid-term elections have already started their primary phase. The general election in November will determine if the Republican Party will maintain their control of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Currently, the Republicans hold a narrow two-seat advantage in the Senate, and they have a 24 seat advantage in the House of Representatives.

There are several different issues that will figure prominently in the elections this year. The people’s overall perception of President Trump will certainly be a factor. The issues of immigration and the economy will also be factors. For younger voters, gun control is a major issue, and this issue may bring many more young voters to the polls than in years past.

Due to the tragedy of the school shooting in Florida, younger voters are energized in a way that they have not been in a long time. Thousands of young people went and marched in Washington, D.C. to bring attention to the issue of gun control. Many students walked out of their classes last year to call attention to school violence.

If enough younger voters can remain energized and go to the polls this November, the balance of power in the House could certainly change. Even with a larger voter turnout among young people, it will be difficult for Democrats to make advances in the Senate. There are many more Democrats up for re-election, and some political pundits believe that Republicans may actually gain a seat or two in the Senate.

Beginning with the 2010 election, there was a low turnout among younger voters. In 2010, only 21 percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 24 came out to vote. In that year, the Republicans gained 63 seats and control of the House of Representatives. In 2014, there was only a 17 percent turnout among young voters.

If the turnout among those between the ages of 18 to 24 is double the 2014 figure, this has the potential to turn key races in the House of Representatives to the Democrats in the race.

Democrats in tight races around the country are making an issue of gun control. Candidates are calling for additional background checks, and some are calling for the assault weapons ban to once again become the law of the land. If young people who favor gun control stay motivated, it may be a good year for the opposition party.