Midterms: The Red Wave Washes Out

While Republicans were hoping to win big in last week’s midterms, it appears that Democrats have successfully fended off the massive surge in Republican electoral power that was projected before the election. Republicans are still favored to take control of the House of Representatives, but if they do, their majority will be slim. Votes are still being tabulated in a handful of counties, and it could be days until Americans know the final results. As it stands at the time of writing, the Associated Press reports that Republicans control 212 House seats, while Democrats control 204. Two hundred and eighteen seats are required for a majority. Democrats could hypothetically maintain their majority, but it is difficult to make projections with such tight races.

To borrow a phrase from baseball: It ain’t over till it’s over.

Meanwhile, Democrats were able to maintain their hold on the Senate. Late last Saturday, the Associated Press called the race for incumbent Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D, she/her) with 97% of the votes reported. Masto’s seat was the fiftieth one needed for Democrats to keep their majority; when votes in the Senate are evenly matched, Vice President Kamala Harris (she/her) gets the tie-breaking vote. With both of Alaska’s Senate candidates being Republicans, Georgia is the only state whose electoral outcome is uncertain. Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock (he/him) and Republican challenger Herschel Walker (he/him) will face off once again in December because of Georgia’s majority voting system, which forces a runoff if no candidate achieves 50% of the vote.

Massachusetts saw a historic election night. Attorney General Maura Healey (she/her) will be the next governor, capturing 63.5% of the vote to win the office. Healey can boast of a few firsts. She is the first woman to be elected governor in the state, as well as the first openly lesbian governor in the country. Massachusetts and Arkansas will become the first states to have women serving concurrently as both governor and lieutenant governor.

Healey acknowledged her historic win during an election night victory speech: “I want to say something to every little girl and every young LGBTQ person out there. I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever you want to be.”

Andrea Campbell (she/her) also won her race and will be Massachusetts’ first Black Attorney General. Campbell told supports, “For those who have felt unseen, this victory is for you.” 

Capping off a litany of firsts: The first member of Generation Z to serve in Congress has also been elected. In Florida, 25-year-old Maxwell Alejandro Frost (he/him) won a seat in the House of Representatives. The former organizer for March for Our Lives campaigned heavily on gun control and told Rolling Stone magazine that ending gun violence will be one of his main priorities after entering office.  

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