Wanna discuss the mid-term results but couldn’t follow the hundreds of races unfolding nationally? No sweat. We’ve got you covered.
Let our quick-and-dirty guide fill you in on the big details.
The big picture
As expected, Democrats retook the house, winning 220 seats to the GOP’s 193 seats (with 22 races still undecided). And as expected, Republicans kept the Senate, winning 51 seats over Democrats’ 45 seats (with 4 races still undecided).
While Senate Republicans will still be able to rubber-stamp Trump’s many judicial appointments across the nation (ugh), putting conservatives on a path to dominate the courts for a generation, Democrats will have a bit more power to protect Mueller’s investigation into Trump.
Also, House Representative Maxine Waters is now the chair of the house financial services committee. “Trump’s tax returns,” anyone?
If House Dems force votes on social issues beloved by all Americans — like protecting healthcare and increasing voter access — and then use the GOP’s “no” votes against them, they could build a serious case for 2020.
Dems made serious pickups in the Midwest, signaling a potential return to the liberal fold after a brief flirtation with Trumpism. However, the continued dominance of the Florida GOP was one of the most disturbing trends of the election.
Our favorite candidates lost…
Texas Democratic senatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke lost to Grandpa Munster (Ted Cruz) and Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum lost to a man who appealed to the racism of older white voters.
And right now, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams is fighting to ensure that every vote gets counted from her contest with Brian Kemp, a battle that has been marked by Kemp’s attempts to suppress black turnout as Georgia secretary of state.
… but we got a lot of serious pro-LGBTQ wins.
Seriously, don’t get too down, there were so many. Here are just a few of the higher profile races:
Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected as a state governor. Bisexual governor Kate Brown won her re-election campaign in Oregon. Wisconsin senator Tammy Baldwin coasted to re-election against her anti-LGBTQ competitor.
Out Pennsylvania state legislator Brian Sims won his re-election campaign. Kansas elected Native-American lesbian Sharice Davids to Congress. Guam elected its first openly gay Lieutenant Governor, Joshua Tenorio.
While trans candidate Christine Hallquist lost her Vermont governor’s race, trans New Hampshire candidate Lisa Bunker and trans New Hampshire state rep Gerri Cannon both emerged victoriously.
Pro-LGBTQ ally Zach Wahls won his race for the Iowa state senate. (Keep your eye on him — he’ll eventually go national.) Openly gay candidate J.D. Ford beat his anti-gay Republican opponent to become an Indiana state senator.
Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis (who refused to issue marriage licenses to a gay couple) lost her re-election campaign. North Carolina’s “Gays for Trump” founder Peter Boykin lost his race for the North Carolina House. (Good.) Venomously Republican Wisconsin governor Scott Walker was defeated by Democratic opponent Tony Evers.
A lot of cool ballot measures won too.
Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, and Louisiana all approved Marsy’s Law, a set of constitutional amendments that offer protections for victims of violent crimes.
Louisiana voters approved Amendment 2, eliminating a Jim Crow law that allowed non-unanimous juries in felony trials. This will help reduce the number of people of color in prison.
Florida restored the voting rights of 1.5 million ex-cons, something that could help the next time a person of color runs for office, perhaps setting the stage for a Florida partisan turnaround.
Arkansas and Missouri increased the minimum wage to $12 over the next few years.
Michigan legalized recreational weed, and Missouri and Utah legalized medical marijuana.
Michigan approved eight voting laws that’ll drastically increase voter turnout.
Massachusetts rejected a nefarious attempt to overturn protections for transgender people.