On Tuesday, November 6, voters headed to their local polling places to elect their U.S. House representatives and Senate leaders during the long a waited 2018 mid-term elections. Not only was Tuesday’s election a reflection of President Donald Trump’s first two years in office, but it also served as an opportunity for the Democrats to gain political control over the House and the Senate.
Prior to the election, the Democrats held 193 seats in the House according to MSNBC, while the Republicans held 235 seats. In order for the Democrats to sweep the House with a “blue wave,” they needed to flip 23 seats while defending their current ones.
Before the mid-term elections, the Democrats held 49 seats in the Senate while the Republicans held 51 seats. In order to take control over the Senate, the Democrats needed to flip two seats all while keeping the current seats they previously held.
As of press time, the 2018 mid-term election came to a close with a “blue wave” sweep over the U.S. House of Representatives with the Republicans keeping control over the Senate. Here is a breakdown of how election night unfolded.
On the East Coast, the Democrats faced a tough battle for re-election in Florida, Indiana and West Virginia. All three states are known as “red” states. As of press time, Republican Mike Braun won the Indiana Senate seat against Democrat Joe Donnelly with 53.6 percent of the votes. In West Virginia, Democrat Joe Manchin won the Senate seat against his opponent Republican Patrick Morrisey. Finally, in the state of Florida, Republican Rick Scott won 50.4 percent of the votes against Democratic Bill Nelson who held 49.6 percent of the votes. In the Mississippi race for Senate, Democratic Mike Espy ran against Republican’s Cindy Hyde-Smith and Chris McDaniel and Democratic Tobey Bartee. Epsy received 40.6 percent of the votes, Hyde-Smith received 41.5 percent of the votes, McDaniel received 16.4 percent, and Bartee received 1.5 percent of the votes. Both Hyde-Smith and Epsy will advance to the November 27 runoff in the Mississippi Senate race.
Overall, the Senate race came to a close (as of press time) with the Republicans holding 51 seats with six pickups and Democrats holding 43 seats. The battle for Senate control ended with Republicans taking 50 seats and Democrats taking 40 seats.
According to CNN, In the House of Representatives, the Democrats led the race and came out victoriously. As of press time, the Democrats gained 25 seats and the Republicans lost 25 seats. Currently Democrats hold 179 seats while Republicans hold 169 seats.
The Governor’s Race
Democrats were paying special attention to candidates Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams.
Andrew Gillum- In Florida’s Democratic primary, Gillum won and became the frontrunner. During the mid-term election, Gillum who held 48.9 percent of the votes loss to Republican candidate Ron DeSantis who held 49.9 percent of the votes.
Gillum would have been the state’s first African American governor if he won the election. However, he still made history as he is the first African American gubernatorial candidate in the state of Florida.
Stacey Abrams-In Georgia, the race for governor was on between former state legislator Abrams, who was fighting to become the first Black female governor and Republican candidate and Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The race ended with Kemp taking 53.2 percent of the votes and Abrams taking 45.8 percent of the votes.
Both Florida and Georgia were major losses for the Democratic Party.
Although the Democrats were unable to flip all of the 23 seats needed to control the Senate, this was still a historic election which led to a diverse group of candidates being elected nationwide. Democrat Jared Polis won Colorado governor and is the first openly gay person elected as governor. New Mexico elected their first Native American female congressmember Debra Haaland. In Kansas, Sharice Davids was elected as the first Native American female congressmember. Lastly, Massachusetts’s elected Ayanna Pressley to the 7th congressional district. Pressley ran unopposed and is the first Black congresswoman of her state!