2018 Midterm Election Results — The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly — Damned Politics
So Tuesday was a BIG day. We had our first Federal Election since Trump took office. Overall I’m happy with the outcome. Yes, some bad things did happen and some things could have gone better. Still, I will sleep better at night overall. Most importantly, I’m very happy the Democrats control the house and now have one of the levers of power to keep Trump in check. That was my #1 priority.
Below are some more specifics about what I think went well and what didn’t. Behold the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the 2018 midterm election…
As I mentioned before, Democrats took back the House!! This is probably the most significant result of this election.
Democrats also picked up a lot of State and Local level races. This is super important, because it’s state level politicians who will draw our new district maps in the next few years. A big reason the Democrats had such a hard time making even bigger gains in this election was gerrymandering.
Centrist / Moderate Democrats fared well, and took a number of swing and conservative leaning districts. This is good news in an increasingly polarized country… it proves that you still don’t have to be super extreme to get elected by the Democratic party.
Texas almost had a Democratic Senator. Yeah I know that Beto lost, but dude, this was in TEXAS. The fact that the race was even close is huge! A blue Texas would make it VERY hard for the Republicans to win future presidential elections, as Texas has a lot of electoral votes which have always been reliably red in recent history.
Here in the State of Colorado, we passed some awesome anti-gerrymandering amendments to our State Constitution. In addition, our state government is now entirely controlled by Democrats and we have a super gay governor!!!
Colorado also defeated some dumb ballot initiatives, such as Amendment 74. Amendment 74 sounds good on paper. It would have allowed property owners to sue the government for compensation whenever any government regulation reduced their property value. In reality, this would make it almost impossible for the government to change anything because there would always be someone who could sue them for something. The taxpayers would be paying these property compensation bills.
The blue wave could have been bigger. Although the Democrats made some progress, it wasn’t the massive sweeping rebuke of Trump that many had hoped for. The election result basically fell in line with what the polls and analysts had predicted, which means it didn’t exceed expectations for the Democrats. The Republicans are still in the game, and they haven’t lost yet. Democrats will have to keep up the good fight. Optimistically, this all may take a few more elections to get sorted out.
The Democrats were playing defense in the Senate and the Republicans picked up seats. This is because many more Democratic Senators were up for re-election than Republicans. The Senate game was all about playing defense for the Democrats. Still, the Democrats could have lost more seats and they still managed to hold onto some of their seats. They even picked up one new seat in Nevada despite the losses elsewhere. Realistically, a few extra Republican seats probably won’t make much of a difference in how the Senate operates since the Republicans already had control of the chamber.
Republicans still maintain control of some critical states, such as Ohio, where the redistricting process will be crucial in deciding who has power for the next 10 years. The Republicans could further rig the system in their favor depending on how they draw those political boundaries.
Here in Colorado, voters didn’t approve tax increases to fund schools and new transportation projects. :’( Currently Colorado has a very tight budget, and there are even school districts in our state that are only open 4 days a week because they don’t have money to operate on Fridays. No new money for anything in Colorado these days though. This is what happens when your state has a “Taxpayers bill of rights” in the state constitution that basically makes it impossible for the government to raise money for anything on their own.
Ok, WTF is going on in Georgia? There are reports of malfunctioning voting machines, not enough voting machines, voters not receiving absentee ballots, citizens getting barred from voting, and voter suppression. The Republican Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, who was in charge of running this election will likely be their next governor elect (pending results of likely recount or possible runoff election). Brian Kemp also ran some pretty appalling campaign ads. In one ad, it looks like he is pointing a gun at a teenager. In another ad, he says that he drives a truck in case he had to round up some of them illegals.” You can watch one of the ads here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q1cfjh6VfE. Holy shit Georgia, at least you’re only one state. If all the states were like you, we’d all be screwed!
Despite some of the problems, I’m still pretty happy with the results overall. The struggle is not yet won for Democrats though, and I expect our political climate to get worse over the next few years before it gets better. Now that Trump has a real, powerful enemy in the Democratic Controlled House, we should expect him to become even more dangerous and reckless. With that said, it’s a battle that must be fought because someone had to restrain our big Orange Baby at some point.
Now on to 2020! I’m not going to even try to pretend like I know what’s going to happen then because I don’t even know what’s going to happen next week.
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