The Wave Was Indeed Blue

On the night of the 2018 US mid-term elections there were many saying that the expected Democrat 'blue wave' over the Republicans did not eventuate. Nicholas Kristof at New York Times offered the advice "Don’t listen to Democrats who portray these midterms as an important triumph". Whilst he accepted that Trump's tweet that the election was a "very Big Win" as complete hyperbole, he urged that US liberals appeal to more centrist and moderate candidates in the future, echoing the words of Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns that the result "a vindication of the party’s more moderate wing" over those that advocate "transformational social change".

The argument that the Democrat win was less than expected however became less true as counting has continued. As expected the Republicans gained two seats in the Senate. But in the House, at current count, the Democrats have won an additional 39 seats, and with California 21st also expected, and won the governorship of six states, including Kansas. Certainly, they will be disappointed with just missing out on Georgia and Florida, but they can take some comfort in the latter in particular as felon disenfranchisement has been reduced, empowering more than one million people to vote. Taniel at The Appeal gives an extraordinary summary of other events.

Whilst gerrymandering remains an issue in the US, if one cares about the popular vote, the Democrats won the largest midterm result in the House since Watergate (although the size of the Senate result should be taken with a pinch of salt).

The result will ensure that the President will not be able to quash investigations of his dealings with Russia and Saudi Arabia. One may note that Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, has admitted lying to Congress over Trump's dealings with Russia, now joining Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign organiser. It should be expected that now the Democrats have control of the House they'll subpoena for Trump's tax records. What surprises will they hold?

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