(Note: I’ve pulled information from the above sources in efforts to present the shortest summary of last night’s election results.)
Democrats picked up more than 30 House seats, gaining control of the lower chamber for the first time since the party’s self-described “shellacking” in 2010. The vote – at least for the House – served as a rebuke to President Donald Trump, as more said their vote was intended to express opposition to Trump than support for him. Nancy Pelosi is once again poised to take the gavel as Speaker of the House. “Nobody is indispensable. But I do think that I am best qualified to take us into the future, protect the Affordable Care Act, to do our infrastructure bill and the rest. Stepping down this path, I know the ropes,” she said.
The battle for the Senate was largely fought in states Trump won in 2016 and where voters still have a favorable opinion of the president. Those tailwinds were critical for the GOP, which expanded on its majority in the upper chamber.
The top issues in voters’ minds this election were health care (26 percent) and immigration (23 percent). The economy placed third at 19 percent. Overall, more voters said it should be the government’s responsibility to provide health care for all Americans (58 percent) than said it should not (41 percent).
- In Texas, incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz defeated Democrat Beto O’Rourke.
- In Missouri, Republican Josh Hawley defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
- In Indiana, Republican Mike Braun defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly.
- In North Dakota, Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.
- In Tennessee, Republican Marsha Blackburn became the state’s first female senator by defeating former Gov. Phil Bredesen.
- In Utah, Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee, won a Senate seat on the Republican ticket.
- In Oklahoma’s 5th District, Democrat Kendra Horn scored a major upset by defeating Republican Rep. Steve Russell.
- In Virginia’s 10th District, Democrat Jennifer Wexton upset incumbent Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock.
- In Virginia’s 7th District, Democrat Abigail Spanberger defeated Rep. David Brat, the incumbent.
- In Florida’s 27th District, Democrat Donna Shalala flipped a seat that had belonged to outgoing Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
- In New York’s 14th District, 29-year-old Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
- In Connecticut’s 5th District, Democrat Jahana Hayes became the first black woman to represent the state in Congress.
- Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim congresswomen after their victory’s in Minnesota’s 5th District and Michigan’s 13th District, respectively.
- In New Mexico and Kansas, Democrats Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids will become the first two Native American women in Congress.
- In Kentucky’s 6th District, Republican incumbent Andy Barr held off a fierce challenge from Democrat Amy McGrath.
- In a tight Florida race, Republican Ron DeSantis defeated Democrat Andrew Gillum.
- In a close Wisconsin race, Democrat Tony Evers defeated incumbent Republican Scott Walker.
- Ohio elected Republican Mike DeWine over Democrat Richard Cordray in a hotly contested election for governor.
- In Kansas, Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly defeated Kris Kobach, who was known for writing laws that took a hard line on immigration.
- In Maine, Democrat Janet Mills became the state’s first female governor after defeating Republican Shawn Moody.
- In South Dakota, Republican Rep. Kristi Noem became the state’s first female governor after defeating Democrat Billie Sutton.
- In Colorado, Democrat Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected governor after defeating Republican Walker Stapleton.
- In Michigan, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer ended Republicans’ eight-year hold over the governor’s office.
A number of Republican incumbents, including Bill Lee in Tennessee, Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas, Greg Abbott in Texas, Doug Ducey of Arizona and Charlie Baker in Massachusetts cruised to re-election.
Democratic governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania won re-election without difficulty in New York.
Midterm elections are often seen as referendums on the sitting president, and fully 63 percent said Trump was a factor to their vote this year. By an eleven-point margin, more said they voted to express opposition to Trump than support for him.
That tracks with views of Trump nationally, as a 54-45 percent majority disapproved of the job he is doing as president.
While last night’s election wasn’t exactly a red wave, it wasn’t a blue one either. We’re likely to see Nancy and her gang of crooks push for more investigation and work toward the impeachment of Trump, rather than focus on legislation. But considering what they want to do to this country, that might be a good thing. In other words, we’re looking at two more years of getting zero done in the House.
Fortunately the GOP held onto to the Senate and hopefully, Mitch McConnell has held on to that kick-butt attitude he had during the Kavanaugh fiasco.
A couple of my favorite moments from last night were when Peter Beinart of CNN said “Tonight Is feeling horrifyingly familiar.” and Jake Tapper said “When you look at what is going on here tonight, this is not a blue wave.”