At the time of this writing, it looks like the big issue of the election, which party get majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate, remains up in the air. Republicans had been hoping for a ‘red wave’ that would easily give them control but that has not materialized. The typical situation where the party that holds the presidency loses big in the mid-term elections, did not pan out, despite Joe Biden’s low approval ratings.
Another provisional interpretation is that Joe Biden has defied the odds again. Just some years ago he was written off as a 2020 presidential candidate after a poor showing in Iowa and New Hampshire only to rally and win the party nomination.
Now the president looks set to best his Democratic predecessors Bill Clinton, who lost 54 House seats in his first term in 1994, and Barack Obama, who lost 63 seats in his first term in 2010. With the congresswomen Abigail Spanberger and Jennifer Wexton having survived in Virginia, it seems there will be no “shellacking” this time.
This is not just a Democratic phenomenon. The Republicans lost 40 seats in. 2018, the mid-terms held during the Trump presidency.
Other commenters have weighed in about the Republican’s disappointing performance.
The races have been close. The early results did show big gains for Republicans in Florida and Texas and I thought that signaled a significant Republican shift nationwide but that did not happen. It looks like all that showed is that those two states are becoming even more Republican strongholds than they already are.
It is still too early to get a full picture of what happened yesterday but there were some good outcomes. John Fetterman won his senate race in Pennsylvania, defeating Mehmet Oz. In Georgia, it looks like it will go a runoff. It is incredible to me that Republican Herschel Walker is even a candidate for the senate, let alone a viable one. Lauren Boebert, the fiery Republican from Colorado who never found an issue too nutty to sign on to, seems to be about to lose her seat in Congress, so that is good.
On ballot issues, the results were very encouraging, with measures expanding voting and abortion rights, legalizing recreational marijuana, and increasing the minimum wage, mostly passing.
More details about the down ballot races for state offices, where the most extreme reality-denying Trump acolytes and believers in conspiracy theories were running, will emerge later today or in the coming days, though the early results suggest that the crazies are not having a good night.
I will be out most of today and so will not be able to post updates so I will assume that readers will do so in the comments.