The Blue Wave Was a Success

 Photo by Mirah Curzer on Unsplash.

The 2018 midterms saw record voter turnout with over 113 million Americans casting ballots, according to CBS News. 49% of registered voters showed up to the polls, becoming the highest midterm turnout since 1966.

Democrats have managed to flip the House, while Republicans have maintained control of the Senate. Officials on both sides have claimed victory in the wake of election day with President Trump tweeting his thoughts of the night’s outcome.


While the success of the so-called “Blue Wave” has been doubted, the achievements of the Democratic Party far outweighed the successes of the Republicans. Democrats outperformed the last blue wave in 2006 when Democrats gained 31 House seats, while also flipping 6 governorships and 6 Senate seats. President George H.W. Bush referred to the election as a “thumping”, and it was widely regarded as a sweeping victory for Democrats.

The Democrats have, so far, flipped 32 House seats. It’s estimated the total will climb to 38 seats once all votes have been counted. Democrats have also flipped seven governorships, including in Kansas, which is typically a ruby-red state. I’d call that a wave.

Although Democrats couldn’t manage to retake the Senate, it was almost unanimously viewed as a longshot to begin with. The Senate map was very unfavorable for Democrats with 24 Democratic seats up for reelection compared to only 9 Republican seats. Additionally, Democrats were defending ten seats in states where Trump won in 2016. Republicans were only defending one seat where Hillary Clinton won in 2016. It was a tough map for Democrats, but they still flipped two seats blue and only lost three seats to Republicans, although we’re still waiting for Florida to be called.

In Senate races, Democrats received 56.9% of all votes cast and Republicans received 41.5%. Even though Republicans maintained control over the chamber, Democrats far outperformed them.

The blue wave ushered in a far more diverse Congress than at any point in history. The first Native American women were elected to Congress. Sharice Davids, will replace Republican incumbent Kevin Yoder in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District and Deb Haaland will be representing New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. The first Muslim women were also elected. Rashida Tlaib was elected in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District and Ilhan Omar will represent Minnesota’s 5th. Additionally, a record number of women will be heading to capitol hill with 35 newly elected women going to the House of Representatives and 65 incumbents. This puts the total at 100 women in the House, beating the previous record of 85.

Adding to the diversity, Jared Polis was elected as Colorado's governor making him the first openly gay man to be governor in the nation. Arizona elected its first female Senator, and Texas elected its first Hispanic woman for the House.

Democrats were able flipped the governorship, Secretary of State, and Attorney General seats in Michigan. They also made significant gains in the state legislature, despite a heavily gerrymandered map, and passed all three ballot proposals which were popularly backed by Democrats.

The blue wave crashed ashore on election day, and the Democratic Party has paved a path to victory in 2020 as they hope to maintain control of the House and finally flip the Senate. All of this with the main goal of taking down President Trump. 

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