The media, Democrats, Republicans, and voters spoke about last night for two-years, and the results could not have been any more anticlimactic. Republicans lost the House by a fair margin. Let’s not call it a resounding victory by Democrats, but it was a meaningful gain. It’s appearing to fall somewhere around a thirty seat pickup. This is just below the historical average. The map always favored Democrats due to a large amount of Republican retirees, plus American’s natural yearning to vote for checks and balances. The Senate stayed Republican, and led to the GOP gaining somewhere between three and five seats. This, like the House, was likely. The map always favored Republicans, considering most of the contested seats were in Red States.
There was no Blue Wave, and no Red Wall. Both sides hypothetically can claim victory. A lot of people can. Geographic areas experienced a lot of diversity, and not just in the candidates. Democrat strongholds, such as, Southern California, and New England showed Republicans some love. Republican strongholds like Texas and Kansas somewhat broke for Democrats. Republicans surprisingly held on in Florida, and likely Georgia, but continued to lose ground in Nevada, and Colorado. Democrats held on to power in most pockets of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but sputtered in Ohio and Indiana. Missouri and Tennessee remained red, while Illinois and Minnesota stayed blue.
The candidates elected furthered American’s appreciation of diversity, whether intentional or accidental. The most women ever will enter the House of Representatives next year, countless Veterans, as well as an openly gay male Governor, a Muslim women, and the youngest female ever – albeit a Democratic Socialist! America showed off last night. We have an incredible democracy, with countless diverse regions, and voter enthusiasm on both sides of the aisle. The most votes ever in a midterm election. Pretty exciting.
Where does America go from here?
It depends who you ask. Today, the heir apparent to the House Speakership role, Nancy Pelosi, signaled she wants to work alongside Trump and Republicans. Trump echoed similar sentiment. The ranking Democratic members of the House did not, nor did Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. They both expressed interest in investigating Trump, including his personal finances. Wall Street cheered the newly divided legislature, as this typically bodes well for the economy. Stocks rose over 2%. Our pseudo-Capitalist market does best when government stays out. Increased bickering means decreased lawmaking.
Then, came the story everyone had expected, but just not this soon. Jeff Sessions gets the boot. Queue media and Democratic lawmakers freak out session, and immediately halt any pipe dream of a grand compromise. That was fun while it lasted. It was about one-hour.
Why does this matter? Russia! Remember? The story that was born from the 2016 election, now continues beyond our 2018 election. Sessions is gone, and Whitaker takes over, albeit temporarily. This was Sessions Chief of Staff, who conveniently penned an op-ed about a year ago echoing a tune that was music to Trump’s ears. Whitaker wants to limit the scope of Robert Mueller in his investigation, and particularly Trump’s finances unless it is specifically within the timeframe in question. This would be during the election, but no more. Trump has always wanted an enforcer over Robert Mueller, but because Sessions recused himself, there has never been someone to his liking taking the lead. This finally changed today. Bring back the partisan divide.
How does this play out? Impeachment? Possible. The Democrats have the votes if they unite to draw up articles of impeachment. Unlikely it moves from there considering the Senate is solidly in the hands of Republicans, and weaker Republicans who opposed Trump, such as Flake, McCain, and Corker are no longer in the Senate. Romey may be the new thorn in Trump’s side, but only time will tell. He’s certainly unlike any Junior Senator we have ever seen. It is reminiscent of when Hillary was a Senator from New York. Instant credibility. Democrats must remain mindful of their political capital the voters just entrusted them. Bill Clinton got rising approval rates, and won reelection when Newt Gingrich brought Articles of Impeachment against Slick Willy after the 1994 landmark Republican midterm victory.
Expect the House Committees to investigate relentlessly the next two years, and with the help of the media, plus social media, the findings will rapidly circulate the country. Interesting to note that Republicans investigated Obama/Hillary for six-years, and it did seem like voters distrusted Hillary because of Benghazi, and the FBI investigation. These things work.
There is one thing that is certainly going to happen. A constantly changing, rapidly developing, ever ongoing news cycle for the next two-years. This was only day one.