Democrats Gain House But ‘Blue Wave’ Falls Short

Photo Courtesy / Washington Post The solid red represents the states won by Republicans and blue Democrats. The shaded colors represent the party that is leading in that state.

Cole Tamarri

Assistant Managing Editor

Pennsylvania’s midterm election saw Democrats win nine of the state’s eighteen electoral districts for seats in the House of Representatives. Senate incumbent Democrat Bob Casey retained his seat over challenger Lou Barletta.

In U.S. Congressional District 7, which includes ESU’s campus, Democrat Susan Wild surpassed Republican Marty Nothstein by almost 15 percent, becoming the first woman to represent the Lehigh Valley in Congress.  Democrat Maureen Madden won PA’s 115th District over David Parker by 20 percent, according to WNEP.

This is the first election for the new congressional district map, released by the state’s supreme court in February of this year.

Nationally, the predicted “blue wave” was not as strong as advertised.

In order for the majority to change in the Senate, two seats needed to be won by the Democrats and 23 seats needed for the House of Representatives.

Republicans maintain control of the Senate, and as of midnight Wednesday, they held 51 seats, according to the Washington Post.

During the week leading up to midterm elections, President Trump held rallies across the country, predicating on fears about the immigrant caravan and at one point referring to the caravan as a “carried diseases.”

When South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham was asked about factors that contributed to the Republican’s retention of the Senate, he cited fears about the caravan of immigrants, a strong economy, and the fallout of Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh’s hearings.

Texas Senate challenger Democrat Beto O’Rourke came up short against incumbent Republican Ted Cruz, despite O’Rourke raising over $69 million for his campaign with little to no help from the national Democratic party.

Senate control remaining with Republicans allows the party and President Trump to potentially continue to shape the Supreme Court, provided justices continue to retire over the next two years.

Florida’s senate race between Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Bill Nelson, a closely contested election has been deemed too close to call. The margin as of 1 a.m. Wednesday was .6 percent. According to state rules, if the margin dips below .5, an automatic recount is enacted.

Democrats did take control of the House winning 24 seats as of midnight Wednesday.

In New York 14th District, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be the youngest woman to serve in Congress at 29 years old.

The significance of the Democrats now holding the majority in the House is that they now possess subpoena power through the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform  This potentially opens the door to aggressive investigations into numerous Trump administration scandals.

Gubernatorial elections have generated national attention as well.

In Florida’s gubernatorial race, Republican Ron DeSantis won over Democrat Andrew Gillum, in spite of racist comments by DeSantis where he stated, “The last thing we need to do is to monkey this up by trying to embrace a socialist agenda with huge tax increases and bankrupting the state.”

Georgia, who had not elected a Democrat for governor in 30 years, voted in the state’s secretary of state, Republican Brian Kemp.

Kemp is in charge of election proceedings in the state. Under his watch, Randolph County’s elections board attempted to close 75 percent of polling places in the predominantly African-American populated county earlier this year, according to CBS News.

His opposition, former Georgia House minority leader Stacey Abrams would have been the first African-American woman to serve as governor in the United States. As of 1:36 a.m., the race is considered too close to call according to NBC.

“Meet The Press” host and political analyst Chuck Todd said, “This country is split 47 percent Democrat and Republican, and that remaining 6 percent is what is tipping elections in either party’s favor.”

Disclaimer: This article was written with results projected as of 2:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7.

Email Cole at:

ctamarri@live.esu.edu

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