The Blue Wave of the 2018 Midterm Elections

Marboreth Cataño, Staff Writer

A blue wave arrived in the U.S. during these midterm elections, but it seems to have barely touched the shore. The Democratic Party managed to take over the house, gaining an advantage in the chamber of 35 seats, and the Republican Party managed to preserve their grip on the Senate by actually gaining seats.

After the 2016 election, there had been a feeling amongst those unhappy with the results that they’d make a huge comeback in 2018. They called it the “blue wave” and it was campaigned for during the two years leading up to the midterms of this year. Through wildly successful campaigns, such as that of Beto O’Rourke who without winning left many jaws on the ground, there were huge upsets in the end. Beto’s campaign was based on citizen contributions and had the red-state of Texas projected as a bright wave of blue for large parts of election night. For states such as Texas, the deciding factor could have very well been the last-minute anti-immigration and anti-caravan campaigning of President Trump. During the weeks leading up to the decisive election, the president campaigned in 11 different rallies within eight different states.

The new majority party of the house is nearly set in stone. What does this mean for them? It means that the president has most likely lost the advantage he had with the congress, which was in majority, of his same party affiliation. The new house can now follow through with an agenda that would affect President Trump’s to-do list.

Democrats will use this new advantage they have gained to stop being so helpless in Congress. Leaders of the Democratic Party have already come out to state what the house will demand of the president once the freshly-elected members are established in their new jobs. Things such as President Trump’s taxes, more thorough investigations on Russian interference in the 2016 general election, the granting of subpoena powers, and other conflicts of interests are on the top of their priority list. If the investigations regarding the president’s involvement in anything irregular or illegal were found, the house could even vote to begin impeachment proceedings- something that has only happened twice in the history of U.S. presidents- to Former President Bill Clinton and President Andrew Johnson.

Much more happened during the midterms than a shift in the controlling party of the House. A record number of 100 women have gained membership into the House of Representatives of which 65 are incumbent, and 35 are newly-elected. Two Native American women, Sharice Davids (D) of Kansas (who is now also the first openly LGBTQ+ representative from Kansas) and Deb Haaland (D) of New Mexico, were elected to the House. Rashida Tlaib (D) and Ilhan Omar (D) of Minnesota will be the first Muslim women in congress, and Omar will be the first Somali refugee. Another honorable mention is Jared Polis (D), the first openly gay governor elected in the country.

Though numbers show that this election has been the most voted in since at least 1970, the hope is always to get all Americans out to vote for the future of their country. At the end of the day, every vote matters.