The results of the Senate runoff election in Mississippi will throw some cold water on Democrats’ excitement about November’s “blue wave” midterm elections. Though many questioned the implications of the early election results, since November 6 the enormity of the Democratic victory has become clear. The party has already picked up 39 seats in the House, with a 40th seat still possible.
Republicans lost a Senate seat in Arizona, while in the Texas Senate race, Democratic congressman Beto O’Rourke performed extremely well in conservative parts of the state despite his loss. Of the 111 million votes cast for House candidates, which exceeded the 1974 midterm record of 8.7 million votes, Democrats won 53.1%.
Democrats are rightly pointing to the results as a massive blow to President Trump. They now control the House of Representatives and will have a formidable platform from which to investigate the White House and push new legislative initiatives.
The blue wave seems to have gotten its energy from the Trump effect — Democrats are energized throughout the country and Republicans in a number of important areas are not inspired by their party under his leadership.
The vote against President Trump seems to have been one of the most powerful factors on election day. New political stars such as O’Rourke have emerged on the scene and are gearing up for another blue wave in 2020.
But there is one part of the story that doesn’t fit with the rest: the US Senate. In the upper chamber of Congress, the blue wave crashed into a giant seawall and this will create serious problems for Democrats in the coming years.
In a rare historic occurrence, the party of the President was able to increase the size of the majority from 51 to 53 seats. And even with a candidate like Cindy Hyde-Smith, a pure Trumpian who repeatedly identified with neo-confederate ideas and joked about public hangings in a state infamous for the lynching of African-Americans, Republicans remained loyal to their candidate.