Republicans strengthened their hold on the U.S. Senate last night even as they failed to resist a wave in midterm congressional elections that gave Democrats hellbent on derailing President Trump’s agenda control of the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years.
Barring a revolt in the newly expanded cohort of House Democrats, this means the increasingly frail Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California will return as Speaker of the House. The 116th Congress convenes Jan. 3, 2019.
“Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans, it’s about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration,” said the House minority leader.
“It’s about stopping the GOP and Mike—Mitch—McConnell’s assaults on Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and the health care of 130 million Americans living with pre-existing medical conditions.”
Then the 78-year-old, who frequently appears confused during public appearances, pumped her fist in the air and strangely remarked, “Let’s hear it more for preexisting medical conditions!”
Pelosi has gone against her party’s base by saying pursuing the impeachment of President Trump is a terrible idea.
A crowd of Republicans and Trump supporters at the Trump International Hotel in the nation’s capital were surprisingly conciliatory towards Democrats. They gently booed Pelosi when she appeared on television to make a victory speech but offered polite applause after that when she urged Americans to come together following a hotly contested campaign.
Trump said little about the half-victory in the midterm elections.
"Tremendous success tonight[,]" Trump tweeted Nov. 6 at 11:14 p.m. "Thank you to all!"
Going into Election Day, Republicans held 236 seats, Democrats held 193 seats, and six seats were vacant in the 435-seat House of Representatives. Republicans held 51 seats in the Senate compared to the 49 held by Democrats (including the two seats held by Independents Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine who caucus with the Democrats).
But it now appears Republicans are likely to occupy at least 54 seats in the incoming 100-seat Senate and Democrats will easily exceed the 218-seat threshold needed for House control.
Thirty-six states voted to elect governors yesterday, including 26 states where Republicans live in the governor’s mansion. Democrats are defending nine seats. Alaska is up for grabs after Independent Gov. Bill Walker pulled out of the race in late October.
A lot of familiar faces won’t be returning to the House in January.
Republican House members who went down to defeat included Tea Party favorites Dave Brat of Virginia and Mike Coffman of Colorado.
Among the other defeated Republican congressmen were: Carlos Curbelo of Florida; Rod Blum and David Young of Iowa; Randy Hultgren and Peter Roskam of Illinois; Kevin Yoder of Kansas; Erik Paulsen of Minnesota; Leonard Lance of New Jersey; Steve Russell of Oklahoma; John Culberson and Pete Sessions of Texas; and Barbara Comstock and Scott Taylor of Virginia.
New York Republicans Dan Donovan, John Faso, and Claudia Tenney lost their reelection bids.
In Pennsylvania’s new 17th district Rep. Conor Lamb (D) defeated Rep. Keith Rothfus (R) in the nation's only House race that pitted two incumbents against each other. Both lawmakers were consolidated into the same district during redistricting.
At press time, businessman Harley Rouda (D) was leading Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California.
Donna Shalala (D) won her House race in Florida. She was Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Clinton.
Two female Muslim Democrats won seats in the House. Social worker Rashida Talib won in Michigan. Community organizer Ilhan Omar won in outgoing jihadist Congressman Keith Ellison's district in Minnesota.
Ominously, Ellison (D) won his bid to become Minnesota’s attorney general. Ellison, a Muslim with ties to terrorists, is vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
Republicans had a strong showing in Senate races.
In retiring RINO Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R) seat in Arizona, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally (R) was leading with 49.6 percent over radical left-winger and U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) who had 48.2 percent, with 75 percent of precincts reporting, at press time. Angela Green of the Green Party had 2.2 percent.
In California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) triumphed over state senator Kevin de Leon (D).
In Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) was beaten by Gov. Rick Scott (R).
In Indiana, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) was defeated by former state representative Mike Braun.
In Michigan, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) defeated entrepreneur John James (R).
In Missouri, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) was retired by Josh Hawley (R), the state's attorney general.
In Montana, state auditor Matt Rosendale (R) was leading Sen. Jon Tester (D) by 49 percent to 48.1 percent, with 68 percent of precincts reporting at press time. Libertarian Rick Breckenridge had 2.9 percent.
In Nevada, U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen (D) defeated Sen. Dean Heller (R).
In New Jersey, Sen. Bob Menendez (D) beat back a challenge from businessman Bob Hugin (R).
In North Dakota, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) was defeated by U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer (R).
In Ohio, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) beat U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci (R).
In Pennsylvania, Sen. Bob Casey (D) easily defeated U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta (R).
In Tennessee, former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) was thumped by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R). Blackburn replaces the truly awful retiring Sen. Bob Corker (R), a major proponent of President Obama’s catastrophic nuclear nonproliferation pact with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In West Virginia, Sen. Joe Manchin (D) bested state attorney general Patrick Morrisey (D).
In Texas, conservative rock star Sen. Ted Cruz (R) narrowly defeated fundraising powerhouse U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D).
In Utah, Trump-hating RINO Mitt Romney beat Democrat Jenny Wilson, a member of Salt Lake County Council. Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts and the GOP presidential nominee in 2012, succeeds retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch (R).
Gubernatorial mansions across the nation will have new occupants.
In the race for governor of Alaska, former state senator Mike Dunleavy was ahead of former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D) at press time.
In California, in-your-face left-winger Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), a former mayor of San Francisco, defeated John Cox (R) for the governorship. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) was barred from seeking a third consecutive term in the failing one-party state.
In Colorado, U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D), a super-wealthy member of George Soros's Democracy Alliance dark-money group, bested state treasurer Walker Stapleton (R). He will succeed Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) who was barred from seeking a third term by term limits.
In Florida, radical leftist and Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum (D) was taken out by former U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R). Florida voters also approved a ballot question restoring felons’ voting rights.
In Georgia, secretary of state Brian Kemp (R) defeated left-wing extremist and former state house minority leader Stacey Abrams (D). With 100 percent of precincts reporting at press time, Kemp received 50.8 percent of the vote, compared to the 48.3 percent Abrams received. Strangely, major media outlets refused to call the race. Abrams has not conceded and has vowed to fight on even though overcoming a 2.5-percentage point deficit in a recount is extremely unlikely.
In Illinois, businessman J.B. Pritzker (D) defeated Gov. Bruce Rauner (R).
In the Kansas governor’s contest, conservative champion and secretary of state Kris Kobach (R) went down in flames at the hands of state senator Laura Kelly (D).
In Maine, businessman Shawn Moody (R) was defeated by state attorney general Janet Mills (D). Term limits prevented Gov. Paul LePage (R) from seeking reelection.
In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) beat down former NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous (D).
In Massachusetts, Gov. Charles D. Baker (R) triumphed over former state secretary of administration and finance Jay Gonzalez (D).
In Michigan, state attorney general Bill Schuette (R) was beaten by former state senator Gretchen Whitmer (D).
In Nevada, at press time conservative stalwart and state attorney general Adam Laxalt (R) was trailing Steve Sisolak (D), chairman of the Clark County Commission in the governor’s race. Term limits barred Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) from seeking reelection.
In New Mexico, U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) bested U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce (R). Term limits prevented Gov. Susana Martinez (R) from pursuing reelection.
In Ohio, left-winger and former U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray (D) was defeated by state attorney general Mike DeWine (R). DeWine previously was a U.S. senator. Term limits prevented Gov. John Kasich (R), a particularly obnoxious Trump-hating RINO and erstwhile conservative from seeking another term.
In South Dakota, U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R) defeated state senate minority leader Billie Sutton (D). Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) was term-limited out of office.
In Tennessee, businessman Bill Lee (R) trounced former Nashville mayor Karl Dean (D). Gov. Bill Haslam (R) was blocked from seeking a third term by term limits.
In Wisconsin, conservative hero Gov. Scott Walker (R) appeared to have been very narrowly defeated by superintendent of public instruction Tony Evers (D). A recount seems certain.
The electoral outcome is both a blessing and a curse for Donald Trump.
Republican Senate control means President Trump will probably be able to get more judges and Supreme Court justices confirmed and treaties ratified.
Democrat control of the House means President Trump will be formally investigated regarding his taxes and the tiresome Russia electoral collusion conspiracy theory ad nauseam.
Meanwhile, the 2020 presidential election campaign has just begun.