Democrats convincingly won the 2018 midterm elections, though it was not as big of a wave election as some liberals had hoped. Just as in 2016, the polls were badly wrong in a number of states, particularly Indiana and Florida, where Democrats lost tough races they were predicted to win.

Nevertheless, it was a solid victory — and a clear repudiation of the odious politics of the Republican Party. The Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives with an estimated 7-point popular vote margin and won a number of key structural races at the state level. Michigan will now have automatic voter registration and nonpartisan redistricting, while Florida will re-enfranchise some 1.4 million ex-felons, just for starters.

As I wrote before the polls closed, the most important thing to keep in mind about this election is that Republicans had massive structural advantages at every level. For one, this is a midterm election, which heavily favors the older, whiter Republican electorate, as seen in the 2010 and 2014 results. (Stated differently, there was no high-profile presidential candidate at the top of the ticket to drive up turnout among young people and minorities). For another, the economy — which is historically the strongest driver behind electoral outcomes — is doing better than it has done in at least a decade and perhaps 20 years.

In the House, Republicans have gerrymandered themselves to a roughly 5-6 point handicap in raw vote terms. And in the Senate, the Democrats were facing the worst map in at least two decades, with a large proportion of their caucus up for re-election and those elections happening to take place in states Trump won.

Finally, in many states Republicans flagrantly cheated in addition to their gerrymandering. In North Dakota, they deliberately tried …read more

Source:: The Week – Politics


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