In the early hours of Tuesday's Election Night, a consensus began to form that the vaunted Blue Wave of Democrats, which has been talked about throughout the year, is not coming to fruition. Now that a handful of races are still to come, it is clear that an anti-President Trump force has hit the country with considerable, if uneven strength.
Democrats seem to be ready to get between 35 and 40 seats in the house as soon as the last races are numbered, the strategists of both parties said. This would be the biggest win for Democrats in Parliament since the 1974 Watergate elections, when the party gave up its presidency three months after the resignation of Richard M. Nixon and 499 seats.
The Republicans will receive seats in the Senate, but with the Florida and Arizona races still open, their 51-seat majority will increase to 52 or 54 before the election. In the meantime, the Democrats have won seven governments. Partial losses suffered in 2010 and 2014 and gained hundreds of legislative mandates, in which they had been virtually eliminated in the last two interim elections.
Democrat profits this week are still far behind what the Republicans had achieved in their 1994 and 2010 historic victories. But they would obscure the number of seats the Democrats won in 2006 when the party last regained control of the house's 26-seat win in 1982, when the national unemployment rate was 10 percent. This year, the elections took place with an unemployment rate of just 3.7 percent.
Day by day, the prospects for the Democrats in the house have improved. In the offices of the Democratic Congress Campaign Committee, sentiment increased throughout the week as more and more races joined the party column. One of the jokes that made the rounds is this: "This is actually a Hanukkah choice rather than a Christmas election," which means that day after day presents are given rather than just one.
This was always an election that demonstrated the strength of the economy that favored the President's party against the low approval of the President, which, along with the record of the previous midterm elections, pointed to democratic successes. In the end, the President's story and approval came together to give the Democrats control of the house, which proved convenient.
The democratic wave hit most in suburbs, many of them traditional Republican territories where voters, especially women dissatisfied with the president, supported Democratic challengers. Ronald Brownstein of the Atlantic and CNN, who closely followed these changes during many elections, noted in an article after the elections that before the elections, two-thirds of Republicans represented congressional districts where the percentage of the population with university degrees was lower than the national average , After the elections, he estimates, more than three quarters of the members of the GOP House will represent such districts.
The Democrats have changed about two-thirds of the competitive districts that won Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2012 or Clinton in 2016 and Mitt Romney in 2012. They also won one-third of the districts that won Trump in 2016 and Obama in 2012. In districts where both Trump and Romney won in the last two elections, Democrats won around a quarter of the seats in the competition.
Also striking in the House races was the number of narrow margins – on both sides. About 20 Democrats have won races or are leading, with margins less than five percentage points, while about two dozen Republicans who have won or run run in races with similarly low margins.
This suggests that the outcome for 2018 could have been much better for the Democrats if the political wind had flowed differently. It also suggests another fiercely controversial election for the house in 2020.
The final result of the Senate races this year will also affect the year 2020. The difference between a majority of 54 seats and 52 seats would have a significant impact on the likelihood of Democrats gaining control in two years.
The Republicans expect to defend 22 seats for the elections, compared with only 12 seats of Democrats. These include the headquarters of Senor Cory Gardner (R) of Colorado, the headquarters of Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine and the seat of Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R) now holds. US Senate Republicans Joni Ernst of Iowa and Thom Tillis of North Carolina are expected to compete against each other. Democrat Douglas Jones of Alabama, who won a special election last year, also faces a serious challenge.
Besides the victories and defeats, the 2018 elections were remarkable for the way in which they deepened many of the divisions and confidence movements that are changing the political landscape across the country. This will affect politics in 2020 and beyond.
Democratic strategists have been acclaimed by polls showing the underlying national demographic trends that made their mark, especially in the border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Voters under the age of 29 vote for Democrats over Republicans at 67 to 32 percent, a margin that surpasses the previous record in the 2008 presidential election. Latino voters agreed with their national vote of 11 percent from the 2016 elections. The Democrats won 69 percent of Latino votes nationwide, just over 66 percent when Trump was elected. The Asian voters, who make up about three percent of the voting population, faced the Democrats with a margin of 77 percent to 23 percent.
"The rising electorate, which will dominate US politics for the next generation or two, has been supporting the Democrats in record numbers," said Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg. "The Democrats not only won the 2018 election lightly but also won in a way that should upset the Republicans around 2020."
Republican pollster Whit Ayres said: "For me, the big story is that the 2018 midterm elections have intensified and accelerated the patterns we saw in 2016. They had smaller, predominantly white districts, which are more rooted in the Republican Party and in the suburbs Especially those with a high proportion of well-educated voters go in exactly the opposite direction. "
The return of Republicans in the western states has led to new returns. Chuck Coughlin, a Republican adviser to former Arizona governor Jan Brewer (R), said it was clear that Trump's immigration approach in the final weeks of the campaign did not have the nuance needed for a state like Arizona, in which immigrants play a central role in the economy.
"One thing's for sure, the caravan rhetoric does not resonate as well in this state as in the Midwest," Coughlin said. "We have done a lot of research and rigorously demonstrated that border security is a big issue, but the immigration reform side of this issue is an integral part of the future of the state."
Republicans in the state, however, were constrained by Trump's support among Republican mainstream voters, forcing Republicans Martha McSally, the Republican candidate for the Senate, to take legal action, particularly on immigration. "She never modulated," Coughlin said. "She did not create a separation." Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, candidate of the Democratic Senate, now has a narrow lead in this race.
In neighboring Colorado, the Democrats won every national race, took a seat in the house, took control of the State Senate, and swept most of the voting races. "We are not Ohio, Michigan or the Midwest. The college-trained Suburban voter – they do not like Trump because of his behavior, "said Dick Wadhams, former chairman of the GOP.
In Nevada, the Democrats received a seat in the Senate and the government representation and held in two competing House districts, as a sign of a persistent shift in the previously highly competitive state in recent elections.
Democrats stayed behind in two other developing states of the Sun Belt. In Texas, Democrat MEP Beto O'Rouke lost the Senate run to acting Senator Ted Cruz but won 48 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, the Democrats have taken up two suburban congressional districts.
In Georgia, Democrat Stacey Abrams is following Republican Brian Kemp in the governorship round, but the changing dynamics of voting patterns are causing some Republicans in future elections.
"If you have someone like Stacey Abrams, who runs a larger suburb of Atlanta like Gwinnett, as Hillary Clinton did, then the formula for the victories of the Republicans in Georgia has been turned upside down," Ayres said.
However, other results point in a different direction that encourages Republicans, except that they increase their close majority in the Senate.
Ohio seems to be constantly moving away from the Democrats because of cultural issues. Since 1994, Republicans have won almost nine out of ten nationwide competitions. The victory of the GOP in the open governors' competition on Tuesday was the latest blow for the Democrats, although Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown held his seat.
Democrats also failed to take governorship in Iowa despite having won two seats. They struggled to break into house races in republican strongholds like Kentucky, North Carolina, and Nebraska.
Florida remains a major concern for the 2020 election, when the state is likely to play a crucial role in helping Trump win a second term. Unlike the Latino vote in other parts of the country, the Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Central American populations split more evenly in the Sunshine State when Governor Rick Scott (R) made an aggressive move.
"The Democrats underestimated how much the Hispanics could support the Republicans in Florida," said Fernand Amandi, a Democratic pollster in Miami. "It's about the margins."
Of the 15 percent of Latino voters in the country, according to polls, Scott has gained 45 percent, including a modest majority of Latino men. Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, the former congressman, won 44 percent of Latino voters.