What a tense night! I had a stress cramp waiting for the results. This is certainly a historical election, so many seats the house flipped to blue. This is exactly what we wanted, a blue wave, if you will. The good news overall is that there is a Democrat majority in the House of Representatives. This means that the House can start investigations into Trump’s misconduct, certainly by subpoenaing his tax returns, investigating conflicts of interest, but perhaps also starting the process of impeachment. Just a reminder that the House Majority Leader (now to be a Democrat come January) is 3rd in line to be president, if the occasion should arise! As I was watching the ABC News live stream, a pundit pointed out that the Democrats may seem like they are overextending their hand by investigating, but honestly there’s no time to be polite. We need accountability from those we just elected and from the president and Congress must hold Trump accountable, unlike what they have been doing for the past two years. CHECKS AND BALANCES, PEOPLE!!
The blue wave also brought a lot of other firsts for the House: Rashida Tlaib (Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) became the first Muslim women elected to Congress; Deb Haaland (New Mexico) and Sharice Davids (Kansas) is the first Native American women in Congress; Ayanna Pressley became Massachusetts’ first black congresswoman; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York) became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, at 29; it was an amazing night for women overall, at least 117 women won elections across the country Tuesday night, taking over high-level political positions including House seats, Senate seats, and governorship. And still there’s more!
HOLY SHIT THIS IS AMAZING.
In “Rainbow Wave” news, Jared Polis (Colorado) is now the country’s first openly gay man to be elected governor; and Sharice Davids is also the first lesbian representative from Kansas); Oregon Governor Kate Brown, an openly bisexual woman won re-election; Angie Craig (Minnesota) won her House race, becoming the first openly lesbian mother in Congress. (NPR) And still there’s more!
Other results that bring good news:
- Bernie Sanders won Senate reelection in Vermont.
- Florida voted in favor of automatically restoring voting rights to more than 1 million convicted felons.
- Massachusetts became the first state to uphold a law to allow transgender people to use public facilities that match their gender identity.
- Michigan legalized marijuana, while Missouri and Utah approved medical marijuana uses.
Of course, no midterm result came out perfectly. Beto O’Rourke lost to Ted Cruz for the Senate seat in Texas, the Florida Governor’s race went to a Republican, and Heidi Heitkamp lost her North Dakota Senate seat because she didn’t vote to approve Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, instead the winner was someone who criticized the #metoo movement, which I am just shaking my head at.
Also, just for weird news of the night: Dead brothel owner wins election in Nevada. UM WHAT.
I’m still holding out hope against all hope that Stacy Abrams somehow wins the Georgia governor’s race. As of this posting, there is a chance the results could go in a runoff (Abrams cited that many precincts were having issues with voting machines and that all votes must be counted), but that is still problematic because her opponent is the Secretary of State in Georgia, who did not resign during the campaign, and therefore oversees elections in the state! Conflict of interest much?? Voters filed a lawsuit against Kemp on Tuesday to block Kemp from overseeing the results.
This election had the highest voter turnout, 49% of eligible voters showed up to vote, a unheard of 113 million people, versus 40% in 2014 midterms, and 36% in 2010, just so you have a picture of how much these election results mean. For all this seat flipping, Democrats gained 27 seats in the House (!!), while Republicans gained two seats in the Senate. (CBS News) Here’s a great summary of the election results as a whole from Time Magazine.
So what we are looking at going forward: the Senate is still majority Republican so they control appointing Supreme Court nominees, cabinet members, and even the budget. Some political pundits may say that this was a not a great victory for Democrats, but I disagree. We’ve not only changed seats in the House, but also in Governorship and local elections, that I’m really proud of the results. I look forward to some accountability happening across all forms of government.