It was a historic night on November 6 when Americans headed to the polls to elect the public officials that will represent them in government. With excitement and enthusiasm that can rival that of the 2016 election, the midterms were highly anticipated by both the Democrats and Republicans to see who will control Congress for the next two years.
The results of the midterm election can be described as victorious or disappointing for either of the major political parties. Early in the voting season, Democrats and several media outlets were forecasting a “blue wave,” where they predicted that they would claim both the House and Senate by a huge majority. As the voting season continued, that idea became more fantasy than reality as polls showed Republicans leading in many of the key senate races. In order for the Dems’ dreams to come true, they would have needed to flip at least two senate and twenty-four house seats to claim the majority. They also out-fundraised and outspent the GOP by huge margins, perhaps a big cause in their takeover of the House.
The Republican Party had its scores of victory. Although they lost the House and a few governorships, Republicans kept the majority in the Senate while also flipping Democratic seats from Missouri, Indiana, Florida, and North Dakota. However, their loss in the House is only a small margin, and they can easily put up a legislative front against the Democrats.
Historically, the presiding president’s political party loses control of about thirty-seven seats in the first midterm election. In the first midterm election after Obama was elected president, the democrats lost sixty-seven seats, and Clinton before him had lost fifty-four in his first term. Trump praised the GOP party Wednesday afternoon during a press conference, noting that the Republican losses in the House were few and that there were significant gains in the Senate.
Even though the election is long over, some races are still feeling the heat. In Mississippi, two candidates will be heading into a runoff election since neither won a full majority. In Georgia, gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams refused to concede, stating that she “won’t accept Brian Kemp declaring himself winner,” even though she trailed him by over 60,000 votes. Similarly, governor Rick Scott of Wisconsin originally refused to concede, but he accepted the results Wednesday afternoon. Perhaps the most suspenseful race is that for the Arizona senate seat, where the two candidates flip-flop for the lead in the polls. However, the race has yet to be called as election officials have been counting both early and absentee ballots, which has amounted over 600,000.
Democrats claim victory for controlling the House, and Republicans claim victory for keeping the senate and defying historical odds. However, neither party met their initial goal of controlling the entirety of Congress, so for the next two years our elected officials will have to work together to pass legislation or else America will witness a standstill in the legislative process while possibly derailing some of President Trump’s agenda on relatively controversial topics.