Nov. 6 marked Election Day, which saw a minor “blue wave” make its way through the U.S. House of Representatives, while Republicans kept their stronghold on the U.S. Senate.
At press time, Wednesday, the Democrats had gained 28 seats in the House — they needed 23 to regain the majority which they lost in 2010.
The House race saw more than just a win for the Democrats — it also saw a record 116 women elected to Congress.
At the time of print, 103 women have won election or reelection from the 589 women who ran or said that they were going to run for the House.
In the Senate, Republicans gained two seats, including in Missouri, where Claire McCaskill (D) lost to Josh Hawley (R), and Indiana, where Joe Donnelly (D) lost to Mike Braun (R).
In Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz won reelection over Beto O’Rourke in a highly-contested race. Cruz received 50.9 percent of the vote and O’Rourke received 48.3 percent, with 0.8 percent going to third party candidates.
All of the Texas statewide seats — Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Land Commissioner, Agriculture Commissioner, Railroad Commissioner, Texas Supreme Court Places 2,4 and 6, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Places 1, 7 and 8 — went to Republicans.
According to estimates by the New York Times, 114 million votes were cast for U.S. House races, as opposed to the 83 million that were cast in the 2014 midterm elections.
In Texas, voter turnout doubled from 2014, according to The Texas Tribune. Exit polls state that 22 percent of Texas voters were voting in a midterm election for the first time — young voters favored O’Rourke 71-29 percent, and voters ages 30-44 favored him 51-47 percent, while those over the age of 45 favored Cruz, 58-41 percent, according to CBS.
Several gubernatorial elections gained national attention. The Georgia governor race between Brian Kemp (R) and Stacey Abrams (D) was too close to call at time of print, although it is predicted that Kemp will take the state. Andrew Gillum (D) lost his bid for Florida Governor to Ron DeSantis (R).
Tuesday was a night of historic firsts — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, N.Y.) became the youngest woman elected to Congress. Kristi Noem (R, S.D) became South Dakota’s first female governor. Ilhan Omar (D, Minn.) became one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, as well as being the first Somali-American woman. Rashida Tlaib (D, Mich.) is one of the first Mulism women elected to Congress. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D, N.M.) became the first Democratic Latina governor of New Mexico. Ayanna Pressley (D) became Massachusetts’ first black Congresswoman.
Marsha Blackburn (R) became the first woman elected to the Senate from Tennessee. Jared Polis (D) became the first openly gay Jewish man elected Colorado governor. Jahana Hayes (D) became Connecticut’s first black Congresswoman.
Deb Haaland (D) and Sharice Davids (D) became the first Native American women elected to Congress, with Davids also becoming Kansas’ first openly gay Congresswoman. Veronica Escobar (D) and Sylvia Garcia (D) became the first Latina Congresswomen in Texas. Cindy Axne (D) and Abby Finkenauer (D) became Iowa’s first women in Congress.
With just two years left in President Donald Trump’s first term, election fever is just getting started as presidential campaigns begin to kick into high gear. Another round of House and gubernatorial seats will also be up for grabs at that point, but no one is putting bets down yet.
By Olivia Malick, UP managing editor