The Scarlet

Midterm Election Results

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Katherine Hamilton & Sara Conroy, Editor-In-Chief & Sports Editor

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With results still coming in from the 2018 midterm elections, it’s safe to say the Democrats have overtaken the majority in House of Representatives and the Republicans remain in control of the Senate. Voting in this election was historically high, with the highest voter turnout since 1970.

 

The Democrats gained a total of 28 seats in the house so far. They needed 23 to take back control, but it seems that the much anticipated “blue wave” turned out to vote in key races across the country. The Democrats took toss-up races, reportedly very close races leading up to election day, in Florida, California, Texas and Virginia. They also took two surprising wins in the Republican favored N.Y. 11th congressional district and the S.C. 1st congressional district.

 

However, Republicans still held onto the seats they needed in the Senate. The widely covered race for the Texas Senate seat between incumbent Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, was a very important seat for the Republican party to hold onto. Senator Cruz has previously been a consequential member of the party, even making a 2016 bid for President. Not only would it be a let down to lose the seat for the Republicans, but it would also hurt to lose a top Republican in the Senate.

 

As of mid-Wednesday, a few races have still not been called. In Georgia, Stacy Abrams has refused to concede because it’s reported that thousands of absentee and provisional ballots had still not been counted. In Florida, incumbent Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for a recount in the Senate race. The state requires less than a 5% margin to recount, and Nelson is currently 4% behind Republican Gov. Rick Scott. However, Floridian votes are still being counted.

 

There was debate across the country about voter suppression tactics being used, including Georgia and North Dakota. Meanwhile, Floridians approved a ballot measure to allow more than 1 million Americans, with felony records, the right to vote. The majority of those enfranchised through this ballot measure were black and latino, which raises questions of how future election results will change as a result.

 

Women ran for seats in record numbers this election. There will be at least 123 women in the the 117th Congress. A record breaking number of women ran in gubernatorial races this election season, a total of 16. It was also a record year for minority women in elections. Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland are the first Native American women to be elected to Congress, Michigan Democrats Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are the first Muslim women in Congress, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest member of Congress. Some races even featured two female frontrunners like Arizona’s Senate race, which featured Martha McSally (R) and Kyrsten Sinema (D). The two ran an extremely close race that some are attributing McSally’s win to split votes among liberals to the Democratic and Green Parties.

 

There was also a win for the LGBTQ community coming from the Colorado gubinatorial race. The former Democratic Congressman Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected Governor. He won by a sizeable margin of 7 points over Republican challenger and former State Treasurer Walker Stapleton. In addition, Minnesota Demorat Angie Craig became the first lesbian mom in Congress. Craig defeated incumbent Jason Lewis in a tight race, one that she originally lost in 2016. She is also the first openly gay woman from Minnesota to be elected to Congress.

 

Now to focus on local elections, in Massachusetts results came in relatively early, and most voters were not surprised. Incumbents Elizabeth Warren (D) and Charlie Baker (R) held their spots as senator and governor respectively. On the ballot questions, No. 1, which promised to limit the number of patients one nurse could have, was voted down. The second question received a “yes” vote, meaning that a commission will advance an amendment to limit the influence of money in elections. Finally, No. 3 was also voted “yes,” which kept in place an anti-discrimination law on the basis of gender identity. The Congressman for Worcester County kept his seat in Congress for another two years in a safe victory.

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Midterm Election Results