201 2018 Midterm Elections Roundup!
It’s all news this week as we talk about the mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, CA, Ivanka Trump patenting voting machines in China, and the 2018 midterm election results.
In This Episode
After seeing all the chatter online about the 2018 midterm election results (some of which are still in question), we decided to dedicate an episode to talking about what really happened, how we feel about it, and what this means for 2020.
Content warning: mass shooting, politics
- California shooting: Ian David Long identified as mass shooter at Thousand Oaks bar (Independent)
- 12 people killed, including sheriff’s deputy, in ‘horrific’ California bar shooting (Washington Post)
- A California gun law might have stopped the bar massacre. Why wasn’t it used? (The Guardian)
Joke in the Middle
Election Results Discussion
– House vs Senate
– Florida, Georgia
– Prop 12
– Progressive wins
– Key issues, stats
Address Myths/Frustrations around Voting
– Shaming those who didn’t vote
– Saying it “takes 10 minutes”
– Mail-in/early ballots
– 2020 election – Dem picks
– How leaders and politicians can push the progressive agenda forward
An estimated 113 million people participated in the 2018 midterm elections, making this the first midterm in history to exceed over 100 million votes, with 49 percent of eligible voters participating in the election.
“In the last three decades, we’ve had about 40 percent of those eligible to vote participating in midterm elections. If we get in the upper end of that range, if we can beat the 1966 49-percent turnout rate, you’d have to go all the way back to 1914 to get a turnout rate above 50 percent,” McDonald said last week.
Exit polls show Trump is a major factor in voters’ decisions
Early exit poll results suggest that President Donald Trump was a factor that significantly affected voting for the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections. Nearly two-thirds of those voters said President Trump was a factor. One-quarter of those casting a House ballot said they did so in part to support him. Four in ten said they cast a vote to oppose him. Only one-third said he played no role in their voting.
Democrats gained a net 27 seats in the House of Representatives, gaining control of the chamber, while Republicans expanded their majority by gaining a net two seats in the Senate. Democrats also flipped gubernatorial seats in seven states, notably in Kansas and Wisconsin. Several Senate races remain too close to call, including in Florida and Arizona.
Andrew Gillum in Florida, where he fell short in his bid to become Governor, and Beto O’Rourke in Texas, who came close to ousting the conservative torchbearer Ted Cruz with a spirited campaign that garnered attention across the nation and even internationally.
Tuesday was a historic night for women and minorities in America, with voters sending the first LGBTQ, Native American, and Muslim women to the halls of Congress and governor’s mansions.
More women will be serving in Congress than ever before after the 2018 midterms — many of them minorities as well. In Kansas, Democrat Sharice Davids became one of the first Native American women elected to the United States legislature; New Mexico’s Deb Haaland became the other. And Congress will get not one, but two Muslim women serving for the first time ever: Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, both of whom won by resounding margins. Democrat Ayanna Pressley will become the first black woman to represent Massachusetts in the House.
It wasn’t only women who triumphed on election night: In Colorado, Jared Polis became the United States’ first openly gay man elected governor. And there were victories at the state level, too: Florida elected its first Iranian-American lawmaker to the state legislature.
But 2018 wasn’t an across-the-board win for all the candidates looking to make history.
Two of the races that had drawn the most attention in the weeks before Election Day went to white Republican men: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum lost his bid to become Florida’s first African-American governor by 1 point. And Democrat Stacey Abrams, who served as the minority leader of Georgia’s House of Representatives before running to become Georgia and the nation’s first black female governor, trails Republican Brian Kemp by about 75,000 votes.
But even when the candidates weren’t successful, some of them made history just by running: Vermont’s Christine Hallquist may have lost, but still blazed trails as the nation’s first openly trans gubernatorial candidate, and Abrams was America’s first major party African-American woman nominee for governor. (She has not yet conceded.)
The slate of 2018 candidates mirrored the history-making turns that dozens of Democratic candidates for municipal and state office made last year: Transgender candidates won races in four states, cities in Minnesota and Montana elected their first black mayors, and Charlotte, North Carolina, elected a black woman as mayor for the first time.
In Ohio, Senator Sherrod Brown said his re-election in a state Trump won proved that “progressives can win – and win decisively – in the heartland”.
Larry Sabato, who runs the University of Virginia’s election forecasting project “Crystal Ball”, predicted that O’Rourke might be drafted to run in 2020 because no one in the potential Democratic field “seems to come close to matching his appeal to the grassroots”.
Sanders said he is “talking to a lot of people and doing a lot of analysis” about what candidate was best suited to win in the battleground states that Hillary Clinton lost.
Among his possible opponents, should he run, are the former vice-president Joe Biden, Sanders’ fellow senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, as well as a handful of governors, mayors and business executives. That’s not counting rising Democratic stars who narrowly lost races on Tuesday
- Stacey Abrams refuses to concede Georgia governor’s race, hoping for runoff (CNN Politics)
- Andrew Gillum withdraws concession as Florida recount begins (CNN Politics)
- Amendments: Florida will restore felons’ voting rights, ban greyhound racing (WESH 2)
- Prop 12: California Banishes Cages for Egg-Laying Hens (KTLA 5)
- New Yorker Cover Brilliantly Highlights The Diversity Headed To Congress (Huffpost)
- Record voter turnout in 2018 midterm elections (CBS News)
- 2018 election results: Some Senate races still undecided – live updates (CBS News)
- Bernie Sanders says midterms prove progressive can win the White House (The Guardian)
- Muslim women, Native Americans, and LGBTQ candidates had a night of historic wins (Vox)
- The 2018 midterm vote: Divisions by race, gender, education (Pew Research)
- Weekday elections set the U.S. apart from many other advanced democracies (Pew Research)