The 2018 Midterm elections had been predicted to bring about a so-called “blue wave” takeover by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives as a referendum on President Trump’s policies and rhetoric. For Democrats, this blue wave washed over the country, although the party lost several key Senate races.
The suburbs of big cities, formerly Republican strongholds, saw Democrats oust Republican incumbents in races which Trump won in 2016.
Democrats won 223 House seats compared to the 200 won by Republicans. Senate Republicans won tight races in Missouri, Indiana, Texas, North Dakota and Tennessee, places where President Trump campaigned in the days following up to the Midterms.
More importantly, women, minorities and younger generations voted in larger numbers than in the previous two election cycles. The Democratic Party won their support by 19 points, the largest margin in the history of midterm exit polling.
According to network exit surveys from CNN, independent women voted for Democratic candidates by a 17-point margin, after narrowly supporting GOP candidates in 2014.
In a blow to Republicans, white women who tend to be a reliable voting bloc for the GOP split their votes evenly between the two parties despite favoring Republicans by 14 points in 2014 and by 19 points in 2010.
Voters under 30 also favored Democrats this election cycle by a 35-point margin over Republicans, compared with an 11-point margin in 2014.
For Democrats and independents, this referendum on Trump’s presidency showed the disdain and anger left-leaning and liberal voters felt given the large margin of victory for Democrats in the U.S. House.
Tuesday’s results, which are set to transform the House, signified not only a partisan make-up but also one in gender, age and ethnicity. Voters in Michigan and Minnesota elected Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar who will be the first Muslim women elected to the House.
Kansas and New Mexico will send the first two native American women to Congress; more notably, the 29-year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will become the youngest women elected to Congress.
It should be noted, however, that Trump’s final campaign blitz across several states to boost conservative voter turnout for U.S. Senate and House candidates did play out in favor for the president.
Those underestimating the power the president holds over the Republican party and his support among GOP voters should take heed at future elections: a majority of states in which Trump campaigned in the final days before the election ousted Senate Democratic incumbents in Missouri, Indiana and North Dakota.
This means the GOP gained two seats in the race for control of the U.S. Senate, giving Republicans control of two of the branches of the federal government.
What does this all mean? Talk of impeachment proceedings by Democratic lawmakers have been circulating, a move which will only embolden the president and his loyal base.
More importantly, Democrats will now use their newfound majority to vastly increase oversight of the president’s administration. Perhaps the American public will even get to see Trump’s tax returns.