Last night, Sidney and I happily performed our civic duty and voted in the 2018 midterm election. We went to the very spot we cast our ballots in the historic 2016 Presidential Election, Ocean Bay Elementary School. However, it was a much different scene this time around. Instead of a massive line that snaked around the entire cafeteria and out the door, the room was practically empty. With the exception of one other voter, we were alone with the polling volunteers. After having our I.D. cards checked, we went right up to our respective machines and did our duty.
I was a little surprised. Although I didn’t expect the madhouse that we encountered in 2016, I thought that because we went right after work (a peak time) and because of the importance of the election that we would walk right into a crowd. Not that I was disappointed. Spending just five minutes when you thought you would spend at least 50 is a win in my book.
Speaking of wins, which party ended up as the big victor? From my vantage point it is tough to tell. One thing that we can all probably agree to is that the “Big Blue Wave” that was supposed to sweep the country never quite materialized (didn’t we learn anything from 2016?). Although history and other signs pointed to the Democrats easily regaining the house this election period, I am sure a lot of folks in the party are still relieved that it played out that way.
As for the Repbulicans, the party exceeded expectations with big wins in the Senate. The GOP seemed to secure important victories in the high profile races all night long. Losing the House will undoubtedly hurt, but I bet members of the party are pleasently pleased at how everything unfolded, especially considering that there was talk earlier in the game that they might lose the Senate as well.
So, it is tough for me to really say the Democrats or Republicans had the better night. I think it is fair to say that the Democrats probably hoped for more while the Republicans performed a little better than expected. Still, I am not drawing a line in the sand to say that either party scored an overall victory over the other.
Although I can’t declare either party a winner, I think it is rather easy to recognize some groups and people who did very well. Women candidates did an exceptional job, taking over numerous seats and offering inspiration to those younger females who have aspirations of one day running for office. I welcome a more proportianate balance of power when it comes to gender. Minorities also had a strong showing as those of non-Christian religious backgrounds won races. In Colorado, voters elected the first openly gay governor.
As for individuals, I think President Trump once again comes out on top over those who love to hate him. Not only did most of the candidates he supported end up winning, but he avoided the major midterm disaster that most first term presidents are subject to. In all honesty, he didn’t just “avoid” it, he completely rebuffed it. Additionally, most political analysts conceded that his strategy of focusing on immigration ended up paying off.
Judging by all the “I Voted” sticker selfies on Facebook, I want to commend everyone for voting. What an intense, passionate midterm election cycle this was. I think my readers from both parties can walk out of this one feeling satisfied in different ways. Don’t Blink.