Midterms 2018: Voting Rights & More Flips

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As more votes are tallied in the too-close-to-call races, the midterm election results are becoming clearer. And, oh, do I have great news for you about the state legislative races! Let me catch you up on the latest news and also summarize what turned out to be a really great night for voting rights.

The House
First of all, I am beyond excited (and relieved) that the Democrats won control of the House. The election pros are saying that the BlueWave was real, and BIG. Since my last post, we have flipped 7 more Republican seats for a total of 228 seats in the House. (We needed 218 for the majority.) There are still 7 races too close to call. 

The Senate
Jon Tester in Montana won his re-election, and Jacky Rosen unseated Dean Heller in Nevada, which brings the Democrats’ total to 46 seats in the Senate. The Republicans still have the majority and hold 52 seats. Arizona and California have not been called yet. 

The Governors
There were 36 governors races: Since my last update, the Democrats have won two more governorships and the Republicans have won one. In total, the Democrats have won 16 governorships, and the Republicans 19. Only Georgia has not been called; I’m keeping an eye on Florida as there is a slight chance that race might go into a recount.

State Legislatures
I was asked by a reader yesterday to what extent the Democrats had gained ground in the state legislatures. You’ll recall that the Democrats lost 968 state level seats during Obama’s presidency. Including the wins in the special elections earlier this year, plus a really great night on Election Day, the Democrats have flipped 367 seats back to blue.

Attorneys General (state level)
This midterm election, there were 30 attorney general races. Of the 6 competitive races that had been held by Democrats, the Democrats held ALL of them. Of the 9 competitive races that had been held by Republicans, they were only able to hang on to 5 of them, as the Democrats flipped 4 of them. In total, the Democrats won 16 of the races, and the Republicans 14.

Secretaries of State (state level)
As secretaries of state are generally the ones who oversee elections, I was paying close attention to these races. The Democrats did flip two of these races (in Colorado and Michigan) and the Georgia race is headed for a run-off, but otherwise whichever party held the seat going in, held it after the election. In total, the Democrats won 11 of the races, and the Republicans 14.

Voting Rights
Today, I’m only pointing out the great wins we had on Election Night when it came to expanding voting rights. I am very aware of the truly terrible situation our country is facing when it comes to voter suppression and poorly run polling locations that we heard so much about on Election Day.

✦ Voters in Colorado, Michigan, and Missouri approved initiatives that will have districts drawn in a non-partisan way, which will reduce gerrymandering.

✦ Enough Democrats were elected in the North Carolina House & Senate, Michigan Senate and Pennsylvania Senate to break the supermajorities that the Republicans had there. I.e. if they draw a gerrymandered map in 2020 and their Democratic governor vetoes it, they can’t override that veto.

✦ Democrats flipped 6 legislative chambers in important redistricting states: Colorado Senate, Maine Senate, Minnesota House, New Hampshire House & Senate, and the New York Senate.

✦ Democrats won governor’s races in 7 key redistricting states: Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

✦ Michigan voters approved big voting rights reforms such as early voting, vote by mail, automatic and same-day registration.

✦ Florida voted for a measure that will restore the voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences

✦ Nevada passed their automatic voter registration initiative.

✦ Maryland voters approved having same-day voter registration.

When we have the final races figured out and have better data about turnout, I will write one final Results post. In the meantime, if you have any questions about results that I haven’t covered, leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to answer it.

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Categories: Elections, Explainers

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