News

The Invisible Blue Wave

November 7th 2018 - 10:43

While the final results have not yet come in, the results of the US mid-terms are mixed. Both parties have obtained their major goal: the Democrats took the House and the Republican expanded their control of the Senate. Yet, there is also plenty to be disappointed about on both sides. Here are some of the observations from Associate Data Analyst and in-house American at HCSS, Paul Verhagen. 

  • The turnout was massive: Historically, mid-terms tend to have lower voter turnout across all demographics, but especially younger and non-white voters. By and large, the electorate for mid-terms is older and whiter than in presidential years. This typically translates into an advantage for the Republican Party, since 60+ and whites tend to vote for the GOP. This year’s Election saw record turnout across all groups, potentially setting a new high since the 1914 election.
     
  • The Democrats won the house and the popular vote. Picking up 27 seats thus far, control of the lower chamber will be turned over to the Democratic Party for the first time in 8 years. Moreover, Democrats won the national popular vote by an astonishing 7.0%, even though this did not translate into direct seats due to structural factors like gerrymandering.
     
  • The Republican Party held on to the Senate and even expanded its control, picking up seats in states that voted for President Trump in 2016, such as Missouri and North Dakota. Keeping the Senate is crucial for the confirmation of conservative Federal and Supreme Court Judges, a core campaign promise from the Trump Administration.
     
  • Women had a fantastic night, with 92 winning in House Races and 10 in the Senate. This means that the next session of Congress will have the most women in US history. In addition, it is likely that white college-educated women drove large Democratic gains in the suburbs, reinforcing the notion that truly was ‘The Year of the Woman’ in both candidates and voters.
     
  • Disappointment for Democrats in Florida and Georgia, where the progressive wing of the Democratic Party lost hotly contested races for the Governor’s Mansion. Had Andrew Gillum and Stacy Abrams won, they would have sent a powerful message that the Democratic Party could be more progressive and aggressively pursue broad liberal policies.
Paul Verhagen is a data analyst at HCSS, and holds a Master’s degree in Environment and Resource Management from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree at Amsterdam University College majoring in theoretical physics and philosophy. Paul has attended exchange programs in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Prior to joining HCSS, Paul interned at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he worked on global cyber capacity.