America’s nail-biting midterm elections have had a few surprising results, with Democrats taking the majority in the House of Representatives, where all 435 members were up for re-election. The Democrats gained 32 seats in the house which put them in the majority of 227 seats, whereas the Republicans have held onto only a mere 198 seats.
Despite losing their hold on the House of Representatives, Republicans have consolidated their control of the Senate with 51 seats, while Democrats trail behind with 46 seats in Senate. The Senate is comprised of 100 members, where each state elects two senators no matter the size or population of the state. At every midterm election, one-third of the 100 seats are up for re-election.
Congress is divided into two chambers, together the House of Representatives (lower half of 435 members) and the Senate (upper half of 100 members) make up Congress, for a total of 535 members. Members of Congress act as representatives of their districts, by holding hearings, and developing and voting on legislation. In order for a bill to be signed into law by the President, Donald Trump, it must first pass through Congress.
The Democrats control of the House of Representatives has put them in a vital position to challenge Republican president Donald Trump. The two main problems on voters minds appear to be Healthcare and Immigration. Democrats have been running a strong campaign promoting elements of improved healthcare affordability that was previously installed by the Obama administration. Therefore, the parties win in the House would primarily focus on protecting Medicare and Medicaid.
As for Democrats stance on immigration, they have made it clear they are willing to fight the Republican border funding. The spending bills need to be passed through the House, where any Republican efforts to secure funding will be rebuked. Trump stated in August that he intended to secure $5bn in funding for the wall. However, Congress only allocated $1.6bm to replace sections of existing border walls.
The Democratic House also holds the power to reopen an investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia in the 2016 elections, which the previously Republican-led house had closed in March.
Trump claims that the midterm elections were a win for his team. It is clear that all the states Trump visited, resulted in better numbers on polling day. Ed Rogers, a veteran of the White Houses of Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush, wrote in the Washington Post. “Democrats may have won the House but Trump won the election.” Red states became redder and Donald Trump proved that his victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016 was no coincidence.
This years midterm elections will go down in history. More women won seats in the House of Representatives than ever before, with a total of 99 women being elected. The first black woman was elected into Congress, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to the US Congress. The first two Muslim women, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar were also elected to serve in congress.
In Georgia, Democrat Stacey Abrams is fighting to become the first black, female governor. The NAACP in Georgia won a lawsuit extending voting hours, as Georgia faced allegations of voter suppression. Abrams’ opponent for governor, Republican Brian Kemp, is also running the election in Georgia.
This years midterm elections have been a victory for the Democrats, but also a win for Donald Trump’s campaign.