Midterm elections result in historic changes

Rick Bowmer
Mitt Romney holds his grandson, Dane Romney, while he and his wife, Ann, wave after addressing supporters at their campaign headquarters. Romney won the soon-to-be-vacated Utah Senate seat, replacing Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Millions of people across the country showed up to their local polling stations on Tuesday, Nov. 6, for midterm elections. Many historic changes took place, transforming the country’s political landscape.

Democrats won House control

The Democratic Party needed to gain 23 seats to win control of the House. Ultimately, the Democrats gained a total of 28 seats as of Wednesday, Nov. 7, with two Democratic-held seats still uncalled, according to the Washington Post.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said, “Thanks to you, tomorrow will be a new day in America,” according to CNN.

Red states tended to run redder, while blue states became more blue, according to the Washington Post.

The midterms didn’t result in quite the blue wave Democrats hoped for but, as the Boston Globe put it, it was an important “Democratic splash.”

The Washington Post also reported that more than 100 women are “on track to win seats in the House,” which is one of the biggest reasons the Democrats won control of the House.

Republicans retained Senate control

The Republican Party maintained Senate control, showing that President Donald Trump and his party retain “important structural advantages” across the electoral landscape, reported The New York Times.

The Boston Globe reported that the Republican control of the Senate and their loss in the House is the best possible outcome for Trump because many of his GOP critics are now gone and the remaining Republican lawmakers are more supportive of him. Additionally, in the last 100 years, only two presidents have held the House in their first term.

The Washington Post agreed, reporting that Trump’s Republican influence in both the House and the Senate will be strengthened because many of the Republicans who lost were known to be more moderate, while many who won are more conservative.

Representatives already lobbying for House leadership positions

Lawmakers began aggressively lobbying for House leadership positions on Wednesday, Nov. 7, though the official vote isn’t until Nov. 14, reported the Washington Post.

Pelosi is considered the front-runner expected to “retake the speaker’s gavel,” reported the Washington Post, while House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan plans to challenge GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy for the minority leader role.

Trump tweeted his support of Pelosi, saying, “She has earned this great honor” and “perhaps we will add some Republican votes.”

Women take historic strides

The New York Times reported that a record number of women ran during this year’s midterms, claiming many historic firsts.

Democrat Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Democrat Ilhan Omar of Minnesota will become the first Muslim women in Congress.

Republican Marsha Blackburn became Tennessee’s first female senator. Democrat Deb Haaland of New Mexico became the first Native American congresswoman and Democrat Ayanna Pressley became Massachusetts’ first congresswoman of color, reported The New York Times.

Historic changes in voter demographics

Women supported the Democratic Party by 19 points and voters under 30 supported the party by 35 points, both more than ever before, reported the Washington Post. The newspaper also reported that white women split their votes evenly between the Republican and Democratic parties, though a majority supported Republicans in the past.

The New York Times reported that the Democratic Party may be in a better position than the Republican Party in the long term because it has a larger support-base of young voters, while the Republican Party continues to rely on an aging population of conservative voters.

Utah midterm news

Republican Mitt Romney won the Senate seat soon to be left vacant by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. Romney has opposed Trump in the past, and is expected to be a GOP counterweight to Trump on Capitol Hill.

Proposition 2 passed during midterm elections as well and is expected to be a mostly symbolic act prompting more official legislation on medical cannabis by the Utah Legislature, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Other legislation that passed in Utah included Proposition 3, which will expand Utah Medicaid, and Proposition 4, which will redistrict Utah to combat gerrymandering, reported the Deseret News.

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