Midterms 2018: Democrats Win the House

So, let's start with the good news: THE DEMOCRATS WON BACK THE HOUSE! This will put subpoena power back in the Democrats' control, and I can't even wait to see what Rep. Adam Schiff does with it, along with the rest of his tenacious colleagues.

And I'm sure there will plenty of time to be disappointed by all the investigations that don't happen and all the Democrats who try to undermine Nancy Pelosi, but, for the moment, I'm just going to celebrate breaking the Republicans' stranglehold on every branch of the federal government, because that is no small thing!

The Democrats flipped at least 28 House seats last night, and/or won newly drawn districts in de-gerrymandered Pennsylvania, and a majority of the winners were women. It was a pink wave across the country, "with more than 100 women sweeping into office on the strength of a Democratic House takeover powered in large part by college-educated female voters."

A number of Democratic candidates made history last night: Deb Haaland of New Mexico and Sharice Davids of Kansas are the first Native American women elected to Congress, and Davids is also the first openly queer person to win a major office in Kansas; Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota are the first Muslim women to serve in Congress; Jared Polis of Colorado is the country's first openly gay male governor; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at age 29; and Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia are the first Latinas to represent Texas in Congress.

There were some delicious defeats last night, as well: Democracy Killer #1 Kris Kobach lost his bid to be Kansas' governor to Democrat Laura Kelly! The odious Pete Sessions was defeated in Texas by Democrat Colin Allred! Notorious homophobe Kim Davis lost bigly in Kentucky to Elwood Caudill Jr.! And Putin's BFF Dana Rohrabacher got tossed out on his ass by Democrat Harley Rouda! Good riddance, y'all!

A number of progressive items on the ballot passed last night, too: In Florida, voters approved an important measure to restore voting rights to felons; in Massachusetts, voters upheld a critical state law that protects transgender people from discrimination in public accommodations; in Michigan, voters approved a necessary proposal to make voting easier and make elections more secure.

Also in Florida, and close to my heart: Voters overwhelmingly supported an amendment to phase out greyhound racing by 2020. Dudley started his life as a racer in Sarasota, so this means a whole lot to us. And because 11 of the nation's 17 remaining active dog tracks are in Florida, the passage of this amendment effectively means "that the industry will be all but 'swept away in the night,' said Carey Theil, executive director of GREY2K USA, one of the leader backers of the ban." It is a major win for animal welfare.

(This is not a complete list of all the ballot measures that were won by progressives last night. Please feel welcome and encouraged to share in comments what you're celebrating this morning.)

There was, of course, some bad news last night. The Republicans picked up three Senate seats. If you're looking for a silver lining: At least the GOP Senate pick-ups make it much harder for Trump to say the result is illegitimate (as he reportedly threatened to do). And there ain't a lot of practical difference if they've got 50+Pence or 55, when it's virtually impossible to peel off any of them on important votes.

The truth is that it's going to be tough to win the Senate moving forward, because progressive population concentration makes it a steeper uphill battle every election. There were possibly 6 Democratic trifectas last night (winning the governorship, state house, and state senate), which is great — but also scary in that it's an indication of how concentrated progressive voters are getting. The Senate has always been undemocratic, and it's getting increasingly more so.

There were also some very tough losses last night: Beto O'Rourke in Texas; Andrew Gillum in Florida; and maybe Stacey Abrams in Georgia — although she hasn't yet conceded and I hope she doesn't until the very bitter end, through a runoff, through investigations, through whatever it takes to expose Brian Kemp's chicanery. I don't believe for a minute that he didn't steal that race, and I don't think it's the only race where there was election interference, either.

Anyway! That's the broad overview. Lots and lots of other stuff happened, too, so share your thoughts on the good and the bad results in comments.

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