Midterm election results: blue wave?

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Midterm election results: blue wave?

Island Waves Illustration
Texas remained reliably red, but Democrats made some headway in the midterms.

Island Waves Illustration Texas remained reliably red, but Democrats made some headway in the midterms.

Island Waves Illustration Texas remained reliably red, but Democrats made some headway in the midterms.

Island Waves Illustration Texas remained reliably red, but Democrats made some headway in the midterms.

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Miguel Gutierrez

There was nothing surprising about this year’s midterm election cycle. From local to national elections, the polls held true. Dr. Juan Carlos Huerta, a Political Science professor at TAMU-CC, put the 2018 midterms in his perspective.

“It was a Democratic wave election,” said Huerta, “but you would expect that given it’s a midterm election. … The president’s party typically does not do very well historically, and this is especially true when the president has low approval ratings, as we have right now.”

An article by USA Today details the election results:

On the national level, the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives. Democrats picked up at least 26 seats, although predictions say they could gain as many as 37. Every seat in the House of Representatives is up for reelection every two years, and Democrats were expected to take control this cycle.

The U.S. Senate however, remained in Republican control, wtih the GOP gaining at least two or three seats in this election. The Republican Party was in a better position going into the midterm elections, only having to defend nine seats, compared to the 26 seats Democrats had to defend. This puts the Republicans in a better position to hold the majority in 2020, when they will be defending 22 of the 34 seats up for reelection.

With a divided Congress, Huerta believes it will become more difficult to avoid a gridlock.

“It doesn’t mean you can’t pass legislation,” said Huerta. “It does take negotiation and agreement to do that, but it has become harder the last few years. … You don’t have many conservative Democrats left, and you don’t have many moderate liberal Republicans left.”

According to The New York Times, Democratic representative Beto O’Rourke lost the senate race to incumbent Ted Cruz by around 230,000 votes, a margin of about 2.5 percent. In 2012 President Obama lost in Texas by 16 percent and Clinton lost in 2016 by 9 percent, leading many to believe Texas is near becoming a swing state.

Austin Blevins, a nursing major at TAMU-CC said, “It doesn’t matter how much Beto lost by, he still lost, and Texas is still red. I would count that as a victory for Republicans.” Blevins is of the belief that Republicans were more successful in the 2018 midterms, saying, “Democrats may have won the House of Representatives, but that’s it. Republicans gained three seats in the Senate. Ted Cruz won, and Paxton, Abbot and Patrick are all still in office.”

According to USA Today, Democrats gained 12 seats in the Texas House of Representatives and two seats in in the Texas Senate. Led by female representatives, such as Terry Meza, this marked one of the largest shifts in the Texas House of Representatives since 2010.

The 27th congressional district race was won by incumbent Republican Michael Cloud, with about 60.3 percent of the vote. Democrat Eric Holguin was his closest competitor, receiving 36.6 percent.

It proved to be a good election cycle for Democrats in Nueces County this year.

“We had several local democrats win in the midterms in contested races,” said Huerta, “and that hadn’t happened in a while.” The biggest win for Democrats in Nueces County was Barbara Canales being elected County Judge, although many races are postponed for December runoff elections.

Nueces county offers competitive races between Democrats and Republicans. The two major cities in the county are Corpus Christi and Robstown.

“If you look at the numbers, the county is really split,” said Huerta. “Corpus Christi is more Republican than Robstown.” Dr. Huerta believes much of the difference can be attributed the diversity of the population, saying “If you look at the populations of the two cities, Corpus Christi has demographics that are more likely to be Republican, whereas Robstown does not.”

Overall, Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, won Nueces County Judge and led a major shift in the  House of Representatives, while Republicans picked up more seats in the U.S. Senate and kept Senator Ted Cruz, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick in office. The Republican Party remains strong throughout Texas, although Democratic support appears to be on the rise.