Looking Into Midterm Results

Ballots are still being counted from the Nov. 6 midterm elections, but, so far official results show a shift in party control, as the Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives.

Currently, Democrats have a 29-seat lead in the house, after gaining 32 in the midterms, with 10 seats still undecided. In the Senate, the Republicans furthered their lead by two seats for a total of five more than the Democrats, although three seats remain undecided.

University political science professor Dr. Joshua Sandman said that issues such as health care and immigration will remain contentious with the House flipped, although he said Democrats may be able to moderate Republican efforts on all fronts.

“Democrats will make a fatal error if they use their winning a majority in the House to go after President Trump,” said Sandman. “No impeachment, no investigations, no fights over tax returns. Let Trump be his own worst enemy.” 

Sandman teaches in the political science department and his research focuses on Trump, including his rise to popularity and his unorthodox communication methods.

Aside from the federal elections, the Democratic party also gained control of several state legislators and seven governorships, including the important Midwestern states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Kansas.

“Control of governorships and state legislatures will help the Democrats in their efforts to more favorably redraw House district boundaries,” said Sandman.

Sandman also finds it noteworthy that a “record-breaking number of women were elected to the House.” Thirty-five new women were elected, along with 66 re-elected female incumbents, as of Saturday morning. Many of these women are making history in multiple ways.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is the youngest woman elected to congress, while Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.) are the first black congresswomen from their respective states. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) are the first two Muslim-American congresswomen, Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) and Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) are the first two Native American congresswomen, and Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.) and Sylvia Garcia (D-Tex.) are the first two Hispanic congresswomen from their state.

Overall, this was a groundbreaking election.

“Each party needs to understand the correct takeaway from the election,” said Sandman. “Democrats — leave the anti-Trump bubble and identity politics, and focus on broad policy issues and bread and butter concerns. For Republicans: To win again, especially in the crucial mid-western states, moderate your tone — yes, that means President Trump — and address issues outside of the interests of your wealthy donor class.”