The 2018 Election Results, and Why You Don’t Know Whether To Be Happy or Sad

Have you ever stepped on a jagged piece of metal, slowly pulled it out of your foot in the midst of excruciating pain, and then realized that it’s made of solid gold?  That’s roughly the feeling many people on both sides of the aisle have as they wake up this morning to the results of yesterday’s midterm elections: there are ways in which it might pay off in the near future, but it also really hurts right now.

Perhaps the clearest narrative coming out of this midterm election is a lack of a clear narrative.  Republicans lost the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years, but the GOP maintained control of the Senate, likely with an expanded majority. Democrats lost the high-profile races that had captured the nation’s attention. In Texas, Beto O’Rourke failed to unseat Ted Cruz from the latter’s Senate seat.  In two racially tinged (or outright institutionally and vocally racist) races for southern governorships, Ron DeSantis defeated Andrew Gillum in Florida, while Brian Kemp appears to have defeated Stacey Abrams in Georgia (denying the country what would have been its first black female governor), although Abrams has so far refused to concede the close election (which is unsurprising given the bad blood between the candidates and numerous questionable tactics employed by Kemp in his heretofore role as Georgia Secretary of State).

Despite these high-profile losses, Democrats managed to win governorships in seven states currently run by Republicans, most notably ousting Scott Walker of Wisconsin.   Such results serve to loosen the unprecedented control the Republican Party currently enjoys over state governments. And several  races resulted in victories not only for Democrats, but for representation and intersectionality, as 19 black women running for judge positions in Harris County, TX, all won their races, the nation will see its first openly gay governor, and the first two Muslim women and the first two Native American women (and possibly the first openly bisexual woman) were elected to Congress, adding to a trend of Congress becoming increasingly diverse to an extent not seen before in US history.

Overall, yesterday’s vote reflects a country that is not only diverse, but one that is divided along race, gender, religion, identity and ideas.  Looking at exit polls of voters for the US House of Representatives, Republicans won among white men: Democrats secured solid majorities of every other racial group, and white women were split roughly down the middle (after having infamously supported Donald Trump in 2016). Republicans kept the support of Protestant Christians, largely driven by continued overwhelming support for the Republican Party from white Evangelicals.  Catholics are roughly divided between Democrats and Republicans, while individuals practicing minority faiths tended to support Democrats. A majority of voters (54%) felt the country was going in the wrong direction, while a massive 76% felt the country was becoming more divided.

The elephant in the voting booth this election was of course President Donald Trump; as is often the case, the midterm election was largely a referendum on the president. Twenty-six percent of voters said that their vote for the House of Representatives was in support of Donald Trump, while 38% said their House vote was a vote against Trump; in other words, two-thirds of the electorate was motivated by the man whose name did not appear on any ballot this year (similar numbers voted in support of or opposition to President Obama in 2010).

This election was not just about politics, however, but also policy, and in terms of laws (and the potential for future legislation and decisions), both sides have reasons to celebrate and causes for concern.  In the immediate aftermath of yesterday’s vote, progressives will celebrate victories for Medicaid expansion (Idaho, Nebraska, Utah), ex-felon voting rights (Florida), medical or recreational marijuana (Michigan, Missouri, Utah), transgender rights (Massachusetts), and holding police officers accountable for using deadly force (Washington). Meanwhile, conservatives in Alabama and West Virginia passed laws that could significantly restrict abortion rights, setting the stage for a fight that could make its way to the now solidly conservative Supreme Court.  Evangelicals’ unwavering support for the Republican Party and Donald Trump appears to be paying off, as there is for the first time in a generation a significant chance, if not likelihood, of overturning or nullifying Roe v. Wade.

Looking toward the next two years, the divided Congress is a recipe for gridlock, or checks and balances, depending on your outlook.  Donald Trump’s legislative agenda and that of Republican congressional leaders (which are often not the same) will likely be halted by the Democratic House, who will also have power to potentially subpoena information from the President and his cabinet. The divided Congress may even provide the impetus for the two parties to find common ground on legislation (perhaps prison reform?). Meanwhile, solidified control of the Senate will give Republicans a much easier time approving presidential appointments, most notably federal judges (and conceivably even another Supreme Court justice).

While voters were deeply divided in yesterday’s elections, they were uniformly energized: early numbers point to turnout not seen in a midterm election in decades (and maybe even rivaling voter turnout for the presidential elections of the 1990s), with significantly higher than average participation across various groups and identities.  Democrats and Republicans, progressives and conservatives, all have reasons to be energized by the 2018 election results – victories for key candidates and policies, as well as defeats that could have repercussions down the line.  Perhaps the main takeaway from the 2018 contests is that the 2020 election will be a fiercely fought contest unlike any we’ve seen in recent memory.

129 thoughts on “The 2018 Election Results, and Why You Don’t Know Whether To Be Happy or Sad”

  1. The NBA playoffs now for today, have determined the warriors in the western conference and will compete for a spot in the finals quota, knight still don’t know who his opponent was.However, even in the face of the celtics or the wizards, presumably knight will be
    kyrie 2

  2. Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.
    atomy

  3. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!
    atomy

  4. I?m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that?s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.
    艾多美

  5. Owen said: “Cleveland need game.”Indeed, they rested for too long.In green, and the wizards to after the tiebreak, the beginning of the knight’s eastern conference finals first time has pushed the next Wednesday.
    ecco

  6. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want?HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!
    艾多美

  7. Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally ? taking time and actual effort to make a very good article? but what can I say? I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.
    atomy

  8. Knight finally written pledge to fulfill a military order!Owen Jefferson suspected the contradiction, huang zhan anger: don’t win playoff team and the team retired showdown between the more and more intense, will the rockets in just eliminated the spurs tomorrow will come and warriors in the first fight
    kyrie 1

  9. NBA players in addition to playing badly, and also an art cells, for two consecutive years in the NBA finals two teams join forces with the warriors and knight, but only two dancers, two teams played neck and neck, dancing is close, take a look at
    lebron 14

  10. I discovered your blog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading more from you later on!?
    atomy

  11. Knight finally written pledge to fulfill a military order!Owen Jefferson suspected the contradiction, huang zhan anger: don’t win playoff team and the team retired showdown between the more and more intense, will the rockets in just eliminated the spurs tomorrow will come and warriors in the first fight
    curry 5

  12. The NBA playoffs now for today, have determined the warriors in the western conference and will compete for a spot in the finals quota, knight still don’t know who his opponent was.However, even in the face of the celtics or the wizards, presumably knight will be
    lebron 16

  13. Because Michael Owen at the side of huang zhan, so his nickname called small report.The earliest Owen left the impression of the world, is probably the flashy passing movements and dazzling breakthroughs, remember in the rookie challenge, he drew down two slipped past knight
    canada goose

  14. I discovered your blog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading more from you later on!?
    atomy

  15. Draft of the same year on the bottom rookie will be what?In general the draft should be able to blow the other party, who would have thought them took Owen on the 60th pick small Thomas in the same year, he turned out to be in the position of the challenger?
    kyrie 4

  16. Knight finally written pledge to fulfill a military order!Owen Jefferson suspected the contradiction, huang zhan anger: don’t win playoff team and the team retired showdown between the more and more intense, will the rockets in just eliminated the spurs tomorrow will come and warriors in the first fight
    lebron 14

  17. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.
    艾多美

  18. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!
    atomy

  19. There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don?t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well
    atomy

  20. An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you become expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more details? It is highly helpful for me. Big thumb up for this blog post!
    atomy

  21. There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don?t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well
    atomy

  22. NBA players in addition to playing badly, and also an art cells, for two consecutive years in the NBA finals two teams join forces with the warriors and knight, but only two dancers, two teams played neck and neck, dancing is close, take a look at
    nike pg 2

  23. There are certainly a lot of details like that to take into consideration. That is a great point to bring up. I offer the thoughts above as general inspiration but clearly there are questions like the one you bring up where the most important thing will be working in honest good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, but I am sure that your job is clearly identified as a fair game. Both boys and girls feel the impact of just a moment?s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.
    atomy

  24. I?m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that?s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.
    atomy

  25. I discovered your blog site on google and check a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading more from you later on!?
    atomy

  26. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want?HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!
    atomy

  27. Because Michael Owen at the side of huang zhan, so his nickname called small report.The earliest Owen left the impression of the world, is probably the flashy passing movements and dazzling breakthroughs, remember in the rookie challenge, he drew down two slipped past knight
    nmd shoes

  28. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!
    艾多美

  29. According to The Fear of The Sword, The knight’s point guard deron Williams is a fan of MMA (mixed), compared to The basketball game, deron prefer to watch The ultimate fighting championship.Deron Williams recently said in an interview, he retired from the NBA
    curry 2

Leave a Reply