The US midterm elections closed with the spoils shared between both the Republicans and the Democrats. The Democrats won control of the House of Representatives, while the Republicans succeeded in holding and expanding their control of the Senate.
The hotly contested midterm elections revolved around 35 senate positions in only 33 states. Of the 26 Democrat-held Senate positions, ten were in states that voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential elections.
The results of midterms can have far-reaching consequences for the 2020 Senate races, given that electoral districts are set to be redrawn following an upcoming census.
The 2020 senate race, which coincides with the US presidential race will be pivotal in determining the country’s future.
Here’s everything you need to know about the midterm results:
1) The Democrat strategy that took back the House
The midterms featured an unprecedented number of female Democrat candidates running for seats in the House of Representatives.
The Democrat election strategy focused mostly on issues that could attract female voters.
They make up over 50 percent of the total voting population.
In a historic win, more than 100 women will serve in the House of representatives for the first time in US political history.
It's increasingly likely we see a possible female Democratic nominee contesting the presidency by the next election in 2020.
2) The midterms were about Trump
Before the midterms, Trump told voters that a vote for a Republican candidate was a vote for him, making his performance over the last two years the midterm’s top issue.
Early exit polls show that for two-thirds of voters the top concern was Trump. More said they voted to oppose Trump, rather than support him. The remainder voted on issues they felt were important to them.
True to form, the Democratic win in the House of Representatives was by voters who struggled from inflation, low wages and unemployment. They voted in opposition to Trump.
Making the midterms about himself may prove problematic for Trump within the Republican party, with his allies expected to attribute control of the Senate to him, while his critics are expected to pin the loss of their majority in the House of Representatives to him.
3) A Democrat-held Congress could mean investigations
The majority party in the House or Senate receive a larger budget for staff and committees.
With Democrats poised to take over committees on government reform, judiciary, tax, and intelligence; they’ll be in a stronger position to investigate Trump, with strong implications for Trump's tenure and the next election.
4) Republicans gain in the Senate
While there was concern among Republicans over a possible loss of the Senate, they nonetheless won in Florida, Indiana and North Dakota while holding onto their seats in close calls in Texas and Tennessee.
If the Republicans lost just two seats in the Senate, they would no longer have a majority. Instead, they strengthened their majority in states with a strong Democratic presence, which could prove essential to passing critical votes over the coming years.
5) Trump is losing his grip over the Midwest
Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown won in Ohio against Republican Jim Renacci in a strongly Republican state that overwhelmingly voted for Trump during Presidential elections.
His victory didn’t make headlines, but Ohio is part of the Midwest and a key state in every election. It helped ensure Trump’s victory two years ago.
The showdown for the presidential elections will take place in the same states that gave him the win: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
The Democratic victory in Ohio shows an ability to seize control of the most strategic states for Trump.
6) The presidential race has already begun, Democratic stars are no more
Senator Brown’s clear win in Ohio and smooth elections of incumbents Senators Gillibrand (New York) and Klobuchar (Minnesota) have established a strong basis for upcoming presidential campaigns.
Both Brown and Klobuchar have established that they can run and win in difficult states, which is likely to gain the attention and support of their party.
Meanwhile, the best candidates for the Democrat’s have been pushed aside. Andrew Gillium, Beto O’Rourke and Stacey Abrams were strong Democratic hopefuls but ending up losing.
7) Republicans performed in governor races in swing-states
The Democrats sought governorships in both Florida and Ohio, which would have set the stage for securing the two states come presidential elections.
This was critical because both are swing states that will define the 2020 presidential elections. Having the support of a governor in a swing state would make winning in 2020 a more achievable task.