The Blue Wave
The US Democratic Party has managed to seize control of the House of Representatives, despite losing a significant number of seats in the Senate to the Republicans. This round of elections saw a record turnout of an estimated 113 million ballots cast and the highest number of elected women in Congress, including the first (two) Muslim women to ever be elected into Congress. Despite some key losses in the highly contested races of Florida (Andrew Gillum) and Texas (Beto O’ Rourke), exit polls show that the Democrats managed to tap into the suburban vote that had sided with Trump during the previous presidential elections. This led to the largest gain in House seats since the aftermath of Watergate in 1974. Not only did the Republicans lose full control of the federal government, they are now also having an identity crisis with regards to being associated as the “party of Trump”. While the Senate races had disappointing results for the Democrats, it is worth noting that they stood to lose more from having a larger number of blue seats up for this midterms.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has said that she intends to lead the Democrats as speaker of the house to launch the investigation into Trump’s dubious business dealings. One pertinent goal is getting a hold of those elusive tax returns from President Trump, which the Democrats can now do as the majority in the House of Representatives. In a press conference following the election results, President Trump openly threatened to retaliate by causing obstructions in the federal government if the Democrat-controlled house were to pursue any probes into his administration. Ultimately, the effectiveness of the Democrats in policing trump would be dictated by the size of its majority in the House, which is still pending a final count in several constituencies. In particular, a recount of votes has been ordered in Florida (of all places). This is due to the small margins in both the governor’s ballot between Andrew Gillum and Ron De Santis, and the senate race between Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Bill Nelson. The drama is currently unfolding as we speak.