The Talon

The 2018 Midterm Elections

Alex Brun, Staff Writer

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The 2018 midterm elections can be summed up in a few words: contentious, progressive, and ambiguous. This year’s midterm elections were the most expensive on record with large sums of campaign money going to the senatorial race in Texas (O’Rourke vs. Cruz) and the gubernatorial race in Florida (Gillum vs. DeSantis). Both Democrats and Republicans battled for various governorships, Senate, and House seats across the country. By the end of the elections, the Democrats were able to attain a majority in the House of Representatives while the Republicans increased their majority in the Senate.

While some races were won by a wide margin, such as Nancy Pelosi’s sweep against Lisa Remmer in California’s 12th district; other races were extremely tight. In fact, a handful of races are still undecided. For example, in the Georgia gubernatorial race, Stacey Abrams chose not to concede to her competitor, Brian Kemp. Republican Brian Kemp maintains a slight lead over Abrams, but many votes by early mail have not been tallied. Some counties that still have to report early mail votes include DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Cobb. All of these countries are Democrat-leaning constituencies, and this could potentially influence the outcome. Other undecided races include the Arizona senatorial race between Republican Martha McSally and Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. Despite 99% of precincts being recorded, McSally only leads by 1% of the total vote and this has made the race too close to call.

Even though the Democrats lost some seats in the Senate, many Democrats who ran for office made a list of “firsts.” For example, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress while Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan became the country’s first Muslim congresswomen. Jared Polis of Colorado was the first openly gay man to be elected governor, and Ayanna Pressley was elected as the first black Congresswoman to represent Massachusetts. The Republican Party also carried a few “firsts” surrounding women. For instance, Marsha Blackburn became the first female Senator of Tennessee, and Kristi Noem became the first female governor of North Dakota.

Although a few races have yet to be decided, several close races came down to the wire. The Florida gubernatorial race came down to a difference of .6% between Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis. In this case, DeSantis was able to capture 49.7% of the vote while Gillum trailed closely behind with 49.1% of the vote. In the Texas senatorial race, Democrat Beto O’Rourke only lost by a difference of 2.6% to Republican Ted Cruz.

Despite the many triumphs and upsets for both Democrats and Republicans, this year’s midterm elections were quite historic. Women, African-Americans, and LGBTQ+ candidates rose to the occasion and broke social barriers across the country. Also, there was a record number of voters who came to the polls on Tuesday night. Ultimately, it seems as neither Democrats nor Republicans “won” because both sides suffered losses and gains.

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The 2018 Midterm Elections