Midterm Elections Results And What They Mean For The Future

Photo courtesy of BBC

Photo courtesy of BBC

The midterm elections are finally over and we can release a collective sigh of relief, almost. 

For a midterm election, this year’s was significant and defied all expectations. For months leading up to it, experts and news channels across the country predicted that a massive red wave would sweep the country and take back both the House and the Senate.

Despite the predictions and historical precedent, Republicans did exceptionally poorly in an election cycle that should have been a home run for them.

Midterm elections almost always go poorly for the party with the presidency, but this year, Democrats retained control of the Senate and might even gain another seat with Georgia going into a runoff election. The House is most definitely going to be taken by Republicans; however, the margin is going to be extremely thin. 

As you all know many important issues were on this year’s ballot, including abortion. I am happy to say that, at least in Pennsylvania, the right to an abortion is currently safe, thanks to the resounding victory of Josh Shapiro for governor.

On top of that, John Fetterman won his Senate race against Mehmet Oz, which was a key factor in Democrats maintaining control of the Senate. Our district representative, Susan Wild, won reelection to the House in her race against Lisa Scheller.

For months leading up to the election media outlets on both sides were proclaiming that there would be a red wave coming to sweep the nation. In reality, it turned out to be a blue splash. Yes, Republicans will most likely take the House, but their numbers are far worse than they were predicted to be and are worse from a historical perspective for midterm elections.

I’m sure you’ve heard it plastered all over the news by now, but Trump was the biggest loser of the midterms. Almost every single one of his backed candidates lost their  elections, such as Mehmet Oz, Keri Lake, Doug Mastriano, and Blake Masters. Even Herschel Walker in Georgia lost the popular vote in the initial election.

In my opinion, the biggest takeaway of the election is that Trump is political poison, especially in PA. Mastriano is a far-right election-denying Trumpublican who lost by nearly 16 points. This election shows that election denialism and Trumpism are not popular in America. Compared to Trump-backed candidates, Republicans who stood up to Trump in the 2020 election did very well, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp.

Another key takeaway is that this election had exceptionally high voter turnout, especially for younger voters. This is a very good sign because everyone who is of voting age should vote. It sounds corny I know but voting is the most important duty of a citizen.

There are a lot of good takeaways from this election, but it’s important to look forward to what this means for the future. 

On Tuesday, Nov 15, Trump announced his candidacy for the 2024 election. At this same time, DeSantis is being eyed as  the next GOP presidential candidate; Trump has already started throwing dirt his way, just as he did to Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in 2016.

A lot of people seem very concerned about this considering Trump’s…. well…..entire presidency. Personally, though, I highly doubt he is viabie anymore. He lost the popular vote in 2016, led Republicans to historic losses in the 2018 midterms, lost the 2020 election, was impeached twice, incited an insurrection to overthrow the government, is being investigated for numerous fraud cases in New York, and is being investigated under the Espionage Act. He has little political viability. Functionally speaking, all he can do is bring down the Republican Party with him.

I would be more concerned about Ron DeSantis. The reason? He takes a lot of similar policy positions and is a lot smarter. Like him  or not Trump was not politically effective. He failed to work with Congress and hardly achieved any of his policy goals, including the wall. Comparatively, DeSantis is much more politically effective and savvy.

If allowed to take the White House, DeSantis would pose a very scary threat because he can both talk the talk and walk the walk. He touted Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, and just recently he quite literally engaged in human trafficking by flying 50 migrants seeking asylum in Florida to Martha’s Vinyard in a brazen political stunt.

Trump’s running, though, does not bode well for the Republican Party, not only because he is electoral poison, but also because his presence in the race is bound to fracture the GOP. They are already scrambling and in disarray because of their disappointing midterm performance.

Before the election, liberals and Democrats commonly proclaimed that “democracy is on the ballot.” While they were absolutely right with candidates like Doug Mastriano on the ticket, this election isn’t the end of the fight. There are already rampant conspiracies surrounding the election and denying the results.

More importantly, though is that our democracy might not even survive to see 2024. On December 7, the case Moore v Harper will be argued in front of the Supreme Court. The case surrounds the independent state legislature theory which essentially argues that states can define how they run federal elections with no impunity from the courts. That’s right, state legislatures could completely redefine how elections are run, districts are mapped, and more without any oversight from federal or state courts.

Put simply, this is the dumbest legal theory since Constitutional originalism and could spell the end of American Democracy itself by allotting even more power to the partisan legislatures who can and will rig the game to favor their party. The Supreme Court made a ruling that would contradict this theory in 2019 with Rucho v Common Cause, but given how radical the Court has become, it is uncertain whether they will stick to that precedent.

In essence, these midterms were one small victory but the fight for democracy still lives on.