Democrats may have won control of the House of Representatives, but the promised ‘blue wave’ to wash away President Donald Trump hasn’t quite arrived.
Democrats have already surpassed the 23 seats they need to win control of the House of Representatives, flipping 26 seats to the Republicans’ two as the day came to a close with votes still being tallied. They didn’t fare as well in the Senate, failing to flip a single seat while Republicans gained four and held onto their majority.
Some of the most closely-watched races also left Democrats disappointed. Despite raising a record amount of campaign cash – $38 million – Beto O’Rourke failed to unseat Republican Senator Ted Cruz. Republican Rick DeSantis narrowly edged out Andrew Gillum, the black mayor of Tallahassee championed by many progressives, to replace Rick Scott as governor of Florida.
Taking over one house of Congress gives Democrats some of the leverage they have been seeking against President Trump, though it remains to be seen whether they’ll actually attempt the impeachment they’ve been blustering about since before Trump was inaugurated.
Among the historic wins for the Democrats were Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who both became the first Muslim women elected to Congress, Deb Haaland (D-NM), the first Native American woman elected to Congress, Jared Polis, the first openly gay governor in US history, and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the youngest congresswoman ever at 29.
Voters turned out in record numbers for the midterms, which many in and out of government saw as a referendum on Trump’s presidency.