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Mixed Election Result: No Blue or Red Wave – Now What?

11-07-2018
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The voting is finished and the midterm election is finally over. Democrats will now control the US House of Representatives and Republicans have increased their majority in the US Senate.

While many races are still too close to call, the blue wave Democrats had hoped for failed to materialize. It was more of a blue trickle.

With tallies out west still coming in, Republicans have picked up at least three seats in the Senate and Democrats have added at least 26 seats in the House.

In Florida, Congressman Ron DeSantis narrowly won his race for governor. Most polls initially showed leftist Democrat Andrew Gillum ahead in that race.

Meanwhile, Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for a recount in his race against the state's outgoing Republican governor, Rick Scott.

The Evangelical Vote  

Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed said evangelical voters made the difference in the Sunshine State.

"I think the White House and the RGA and the National Republican Senatorial Committee and certainly Ron DeSantis and Rick Scott are very grateful tonight that the rapture didn't happen before the early voting began because if it had, they would have lost in a landslide," explained Reed. "The evangelicals delivered this vote in a big way."

In Tennessee, the GOP held Bob Corker's open seat, which will be filled by Republican Marsha Blackburn. She beat Phil Bredesen by nine points. 

Out west, incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller lost in Nevada, but former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney trounced his opponent in Utah and is now headed to the Senate.

In Texas, voters showed you can't always buy elections. In a squeaker, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) beat back a green wave of out-of-state Democrat money. Challenger Beto O'Rourke raised nearly $70 million.

"This was an election about hope, about the future and the people of Texas rendered a verdict that we want a future with more jobs, and more security, and more freedom," Cruz enthusiastically told supporters.

The Kavanaugh Effect

Some incumbent Democrats who voted against the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court were defeated.

In North Dakota, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp lost her re-election bid to Kevin Cramer. Indiana's Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) is out, defeated by Republican Mike Braun. And Josh Hawley beat Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) by 6 percent in Missouri. 

Hawley gave credit where credit is due. 

"Tonight, the good Lord and the people of Missouri have given us the victory – we won!" he declared.      

And there were some firsts in this midterm election. More women than ever before – possibly as many as 100 – will now serve in the House of Representatives. Two Muslims will be among them and that is also another first.

What's Next?

With Democrats now preparing for control of the House, still to be decided is if Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will return to her role as House speaker. Pelosi said Democrats will make their top campaign issue – healthcare – a priority.

"Democrats will lower healthcare costs and prescription drug prices for seniors  and families across America," Pelosi vowed.

Democrats have also pledged to launch committee investigations of President Donald Trump and his administration. And they'll possibly begin impeachment proceedings against both the president and Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh.

With a divided Congress ahead, it remains to be seen whether or not the president, Democrats and Republicans will work together, or if Washington will be more contentious and polarized than during President Trump's first two years.

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