The post-midterm narrative surrounding Democratic wins across the country this year judged the much hyped “blue wave” nothing more than a ripple — but it turns out the wave was real, with far-reaching implications.
> [J]ust over a week later, the assessment has evolved just as rapidly amid a series of gains by Democrats in contests that on election night were too close to call. Democrats have now picked up 34 seats in the House – a tally that may inch closer to 40 with a number of results still outstanding.
> The revised outlook has reinforced the Democratic party’s momentum in the current political climate, while also exposing the Republican party’s vulnerabilities with Donald Trump at its helm.
Despite Trump’s insistence that the 2018 midterm elections were a major success for his party and a bust for Democrats, the elections showed that “Republicans have only a tenuous hold over the coalition that propelled Trump to the White House in 2016.”
> “I think Republicans would be foolish to just think that this is simply a conventional midterm,” said Rory Cooper, a GOP strategist who served as a top aide to the former House majority leader Eric Cantor.
> “You have an economy that’s roaring and unemployment that’s historically low … and so you have to look for other indicators for why you’d lose that many seats.”
And the effects were felt far beyond Washington, D.C., as Democrats made gains at the state level as well:
> They flipped seven gubernatorial seats and six legislatures, enabling the party to enact progressive agendas statewide and exert influence over the redistricting process – to carve out future congressional maps – that is due to take place in 2020.
> “This was a great night for Democrats no matter what you want to call it. I’m more than willing to call it a blue wave,” said Jim Manley, who served as an aide to the former Senate majority leader Harry Reid and the late Senator Ted Kennedy.
> Manley expressed frustration with the pundits who claimed on election night that Democrats had underperformed.
> “The mere sense that we were going to pick up the House was a huge deal,” he said. “The whole goal, the whole crux of the last two years, was reclaiming the House.”