The Good (Blue) News from the 2018 Election
Not everything is terrible.
Additional Updates as of 11:30 PM EST.
It is incredibly easy to fall into a pit of despair when considering American politics in 2018. It is stressful, disillusioning, and depressing. Voter suppression is still a problem, Trump is still tweeting nonsense, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg was recently injured. Nevada somehow elected a dead pimp into their state assembly.
But — and this is an important but, — there’s also some good news in the aftermath of this year’s elections. Here are the new records, the blue wins, and the takeaways:
- The Democrats have 225 seats in the House, for a majority.
- About 31 seats have been gained by the Democrats so far — there are still several exceptionally tight races still being counted as of this Thursday night.
- Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland are the first Native American women elected to Congress. Davids is also going to be Kansas’ first openly gay member of Congress.
- Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
- Ayanna Pressley is the first African-American woman elected to Congress in Massachusetts.
- Jahanna Hayes is the first African-American woman elected to Congress in Connecticut.
- Jared Polis will be the first openly gay governor, serving in Colorado.
- Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia are the first Latina women elected to Congress in Texas.
- All 19 African American women running for judicial seats in Houston, Texas/Harris County won their races.
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, at age 29.
- 41 Latinos will now serve in Congress.
- 118 women will serve in the 116th Congress, making for 22% of Congress, including at least 40 women of color.
- Massachusetts passed the first statewide vote on anti-discrimination protections for transgender people.
- Washington voted to enact an initiative that would require police to receive de-escalation and mental health training, and also require officers to provide first aid.
- Three states — Idaho, Nebraska, Utah — voted to expand Medicaid.
- Washington State passed an initiative tightening gun control, and raised the age for the purchase of firearms to 21 years.
- Oregon rejected a measure banning the public funding of abortion procedures.
- Florida passed Amendment 4, allowing up to 1.4 million ex-felons to be enfranchised — gaining back their right to vote.
- Nevada passed a ballot measure imposing a 50 percent renewable energy mandate on state utilities.
- Michigan legalized marijuana, while Utah and Missouri legalized medical marijuana.
- Arkansas and Missouri voted to increase minimum wage.
- Florida banned offshore drilling under state waters — and at the same time, banned indoor vaping in the workplace.
- Colorado officially abolished Prison Slavery.
- And if this isn’t enough to help you overcome the injury of Beto’s loss in Texas, Florida has abolished dog racing. Meaning that if all else fails, this is probably a great time to rescue a retired grey hound.
A few races are still uncalled.
Arizona: Democrat Kyrsten Sinema (48.9%) vs. Republican Martha McSally (48.8%). UPDATE: Democrat Sinema has now pulled ahead by 2,000 votes.
Florida: Republican Rick Scott (50.1%) vs. Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson (49.9%). UPDATE: This race will head to a re-count.
Mississippi: Will head to a run-off on November 27th.
CA 10 R leads 50.6–49.4
CA 25 D leads 51.3–48.7
CA 39 R leads 51.3–48.7
CA 45 R leads 51.7–48.3
CA 48 D leads 50.7–49.3
GA 7 R leads 50.2–49.8
ME 2 R leads 46.1–45.7
NJ 3 D leads 49.8–48.9
NY 22 D leads 50.3–49.7
NY 27 R leads 49.5–48.4
TX 23 R leads 49.2–48.7
UT 4 D leads 51.3–48.7
WA 8 D leads 52.9–47.1
Georgia: Republican Brian Kemp (50.3%) vs. Democrat Stacey Abrams (48.7%). If you voted with a provisional ballot and need help, call 866-OUR-VOTE. You can also call 1–888–730–5816, the Georgia democrats voter protection hotline. If you would like to volunteer to help make sure all ballots are counted, please look here. You can see if your provisional ballot was counted online. Here is a useful timeline.
Florida: Voting margin may trigger a recount, although the Associated Press called the race for Republican Ron DeSantis over Democrat Andrew Gillum.
Claps are highly appreciated! But really, the big thanks goes to everyone who put in such huge efforts across the nation for this year’s election successes.