So as we all try and fully take in what happened on Tuesday evening, here are some of the general must-knows from the results of the 2018 Midterm Election. Prior to this election, for the past two years, the Republican party has held a majority in the House of Representatives, a slight majority in the Senate, and has held the presidency. Although the president was not on the ballot this time, his actions, his support or opposition, and his endorsements tend to influence how the Senate, House, and Governor races turn out.
Specifically in this election, the Democratic party was attempting to take a majority in the House and in the Senate. The Democrats succeeded at this only in part. They ended up winning a majority in the House, and when it’s all said and done, they are expected to hold 230 seats out of the 435 total seats. This means that a Democrat will be the Speaker of the House, all of the chairs of the committees will be Democrats, and a large amount of power will be transferred to the Democrats. However, the Senate is still held by the Republicans. There is still not a full decision on how many seats over the majority they will hold. Currently they hold 51 of the 100 seats. And the Democrats (and independents who caucus with the Democrats) hold 46 seats. This leaves 3 seats that still haven’t been decided. The Arizona race still has not been called, and the seats available in Mississippi and Florida will be going to a runoff and recount respectively. While the Democrats hold the power in the House and the Republicans hold it in the Senate, the results are still not final on how much of a majority the parties will hold in their respective bodies.
The DU Dems Club hosted an Election Day watch party
When it came to gubernatorial races across the nation, out of the 36 total races up for election during these midterms, 7 of them flipped to Democratic leadership, 1 flipped to a Republican leadership and 1 state, Georgia, has not been decided yet. The states that flipped to Democratic leadership include New Mexico, Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Nevada, Michigan, and Maine. The state that flipped to Republican leadership was Alaska. This leaves a current total of 23 Democratic governors, 26 Republican governors, and one undecided.
One thing to recognize about elections in the United States is that not all results are available, counted, or completed by Election Day or the day after. California will be counting ballots for the next few weeks based on the number of people who submitted ballots. Arizona will also still be counting ballots for the next few days along with the states like Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi where there will be recounts and runoffs. In the end, California will probably total around 9 million votes cast, meaning that it takes much longer than a night or two to count all of the votes.
Now for some Colorado specific results. There seemed to be a blue wave that swept through Colorado on Tuesday evening. Colorado has managed to elect its first openly gay governor, Jared Polis, who was the Democratic candidate. Colorado also elected Democrats to the Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Attorney General positions, Jena Griswold, Dave Young, and Phil Weiser respectively. Democrats now control many of the powerful positions in the Colorado government. Additionally, Jason Crow, who represents the US House District 6 in Colorado, unseated the incumbent republican Mike Coffma–contributing to the Democrats majority in the House of Representatives.
Looking to the status of some of the ballot measures in Colorado, the redistricting commissions to try and address gerrymandering for both state government districts and US house districts passed. The amendment to increase the sales tax to help pay for education and the amendment on expanding campaign fund limits both failed. When it came to propositions, most of them did not do very well. Both Propositions 109 and 110, bonds for transportation projects, failed, as well as proposition 112 on increasing the minimum distance for oil, gas and fracking projects.
I hope you learned a little about the results of this election and we will all continue to learn more as the last few states finalize their results in the coming weeks. As always more information can be found online about the specific status of all of the races.
I hope you enjoyed the election as much as I did!