With most races already called it’s easy to see that Republicans saw a staggering loss last night. Democrats flipped four governorships, a Senate seat and almost thirty seats in the house. CNN maps:
However, for solace, Republicans flipped three seats in the Senate, and gained control of the Alaskan governorship even after the former governor endorsed the Democratic candidate.
I think this speaks loud and clear that Americans disapprove of Mr.Trump as the chief executive, and that many republicans are uncomfortable with his leadership style to the point of electing moderates. Flipping the house is key for democrats as they now have more power to investigate the president and could potentially seek subpoenas that were imposible to seek in the past. If democrats can push investigations aggressively into Trump’s actions as a candidate and as a President they could potentially find themselves flipping more moderate republicans in 2020. However, investigations have to be done carefully, or else these could embolden Trump’s base and cause a turnout spike in 2020.
Trump and the republicans keep the upper hand when it comes to Federal appointees, which could sway how an election is finalized. Kavanaugh famously wrote that the president should be pretty much inmune from certain investigations, and he’s now in the supreme court.
However not everything is good for the Democrats; loosing Georgia’s and Florida’s Governor elections show that “the base” is still very strong. With two of the three most populated states, Texas and Florida, choosing Republicans as their governors one could argue that in 2020 the possibility of flipping the Whitehouse itself is even smaller.
But it also shows that Democrats can still find voters they normally ignored; after all, Texas almost elected Beto O’Rourke to congress. Beto ran on a moderate platform that seemed compatible with the urban liberals of Texas and the conservative Latinos near the border. It’s also worth noting that Florida’s election was very close and Gillum ran a liberal campaign that would seem odd in a likely republican state like Florida. Both candidates took advantage of the urban areas of their states, both won the most important cities of both states!
In the end it’s a wakeup call for both parties; Republicans saw promising wins in the Senate but losing the house after having a stronghold in it for eight years and having almost nothing to show for it is dangerous for their parties future and agenda. The now Republican minority will enter the next session with a growing deficit and the PPACA as a law, and a popular one at that!
Democrats finally understood that they needed to win the latino vote because, and I can’t believe I need to say this: Most latinos emigrated from VERY CONSERVATIVE AND RELIGIOUS countries; you can’t win 2nd and 3rd generation Latinos with immigration banter because they don’t give a shit about immigration anymore!
Anyway, Democrats have a long way to go, and the 2020 elections might be a curse for them anyway they see it; if they run a lame duck they risk losing all the inertia from two years of House investigations, but if they run a strong contender, they might rally up Trump’s base and see even larger losses in the Senate next cycle.
Republicans meanwhile will have to find a way to double down on partisanship and hope that Trump’s base will rescue them in 2020 or settle for bipartisanship and hope the moderates will rescue them.
As for individual ballots go however, Florida will restore voting rights to millions of felons after the measure passed by almost two to one; this might be a point of recovery for Democrats after-all. On the other hand, a number of states voted for independent redistricting commissions and/or tougher voter ID laws; the former being predominantly good for Democrats and the latter being predominantly good for Republicans.
As for independents and third parties, it doesn’t look very promising, only current independents, Sanders and King, were re-elected.