Midterm Elections Review


Davide Rotunno, Editor

Over three weeks ago, the United States held its quadrennial midterm elections, where all house seats, thirty five senate seats, and thirty nine state and senatorial governorships were hotly contested by the Republican and Democratic parties. This particular election was of particular importance to the Democratic party due to its potential to swing a ‘blue wave’ in the party’s favor. With complete control over the house and senate, it was up to the GOP to maintain its hold on the legislative branch.

The 2018 Midterm Elections generated the highest voter turnout in recent history, with millions of Americans rushing to the polls to have their voices heard during a tumultuous presidential term. Florida and Virginia saw voter participation which surpassed 20 year highs, and Minnesota led the nation in voter participation with 2.6 million Minnesotans (64.25% of eligible voters in the state) voting in the election.

Tensions were high between both parties, with President Donald Trump issuing a grave warning against voter fraud, going so far as to say that those who voted improperly would “Not be tolerated” and that fraudulent voters would be subject to “maximum criminal penalties”. A recount was held in Florida over suspicion of such fraudulent voting practices, finally resulting in wins for Republican governor Rick Scott, Republican representative Ron DeSantis, and, in the race for the cabinet position of agricultural commissioner, Democrat Nikki Scott.

Going into the elections, Democrats were hopeful that a ‘blue wave’ would sweep across America, allowing the party to take control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Republicans predicted otherwise, conceding that as per the typical midterm election cycle the less powerful party would take the house, but maintaining that they would keep the senate.

In the aftermath of the election, Democrats managed to flip the house in their favor and gained a strong foothold in numerous state governments, solidifying power in 7 and breaking Republican holds in 4. Republicans kept the Senate, and were quick to jeer at the ‘blue trickle’ they had observed, with President Trump stating that he believed he had won a “Big Victory”. Yet, with a new Democratic foothold in the house, the Democratic party are in a stronger position than ever before to blockade President Trump’s proposals and policies from ever being enacted, serving hopefully to restore a sense of balance between the two political giants.

The election also included a great deal of historical significance, not only for its record voter turnout, but also for the great deal of youthful and ethnic diversity in elected representatives. Historical records included the first two Native American women to be elected to the United States Congress, these being Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, Democrats representing Kansas and New Mexico, respectively. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, Democrats representing Michigan and Minnesota respectively, became the first Female Muslim members of Congress. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat, became the first openly gay male governor. Finally, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

Time will tell how the results of this midterm election serve to impact the future of the United States, up till the 2020 election. With Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi eager to win her place as speaker of the house, and a presidential administration under scrutiny for various malpractices, anything could happen.