5 Political Takeaways From 2018
Hi everyone, it’s Leo, and welcome back to my political blog!
This year has been unprecedented in terms of both political variety and polarity from start to finish. Most importantly, the 2018 midterm election wasn’t just another run-of-the-mill 2-year election; it was historical, indicative, unnerving and optimistic, regardless of your orientation in the political sphere.
As 2018 comes to a near close, I’m here to provide you with some takeaways from this historically relevant election year:
House goes blue, Senate stays red
With the largest popular vote margin between two political parties in American midterm history, the Democrats were able to grasp control of the U.S. House of Representatives with an (expected) net gain of approximately 40 seats. Democrats, as expected, did not gain control of the U.S. Senate, effectively granting Republicans a net gain of two seats.
The most diverse house
The recently-elected House freshman are, statistically, the most diverse group of elected U.S. representatives in our country’s history. Overall, the share of white men as a percentage of Democratic representatives in Congress declined from 41% to 38%. On the Republican side of the aisle, the same statistic rose from 86% to 90%. Major relevancies include the election of Congress’ first Muslim woman, first Native-American woman and a first African-American woman in multiple states.
More female members of Congress were elected than ever before
The 2018 midterms also broke the sitting record for the number of women, regardless of political orientation, serving in the U.S. House. Woohoo! Until this year, women had never held more than 84 out of 538 seats in the House. This year’s election saw a massive increase in female representation, ultimately sending over 100 women to the chamber.
The emergence of potential presidential candidates
Amidst the chaos of this election cycle, a variety of potential candidates for the 2020 Presidential Election gained the attention of the public. Former House Representative Beto O’Rourke, who lost his Senate bid against incumbent Senator Ted Cruz, for example, recently expressed interest in presidential candidacy following mass dialogue surrounding his future in the Democratic Party’s increasingly progressive base. Republicans also lost ground in states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, offering hope to Democratic presidential hopefuls across the nation.
Best voter turnout in decades
The 2018 midterms also saw the highest voter turnout rate in a midterm election since 1914 when 50.2% of eligible voters made their way to the polls. This year, approximately 49.3% of eligible voters cast their ballots on or before election day — the largest percentage in more than a century. In the 2014 midterm elections, 36.7% of the eligible voting population voted — the lowest percentage to date.
Get ready for 2019, everyone, it’s going to be just as spicy as 2018!
Photo provided by seabirdisland.ca