The Failed Blue Wave

Andrei Nikitovic

Despite the Democrats winning the White House, predictions of another Blue Wave, similar to the one in 2018, were crushed on election day and the days following. Democrats hoped to carry on the same momentum which allowed them to flip the House but their objectives were not met. 

The Democrats hoped to make significant gains in state legislatures which are very Republican dominant. However, the Republicans were the ones who advanced in state legislatures– flipping both the New Hampshire State Senate and State House. This objective was particularly important to the Democrats, as state legislatures will be responsible for redistricting soon due to the 2020 census and Republican State legislatures will likely draw districts to benefit them. 

One of the States where Democrats hoped to pick up State Legislature seats was Texas, a state that had become more Democratic after the 2018 midterms. However, after picking up 12 seats in the state House in 2018, Democrats could not even get one seat out of the nine more they needed to capture the majority. Pennsylvania’s legislature, another target for Democrats, also remained pro–Republican, which was yet another blow to the Democrats’ ambitions. 

State Legislatures was not the only place where Democrats’ predicted “Blue Wave” failed. Democrats had a chance at picking up a significant amount of seats in the House, where Republicans have flipped 13 seats so far, and with the two races remaining looking to be in favor of Republicans, that could very easily be 15. Just looking at the New York Times election map you can see how the expectations were turned on their head: all of the states under the tossup section have gone Republican so far, and seven of the “Democrats likely to win” seats went red. In the Senate, Democrats’ expectations were not met either. Donors gave $90 million only to lose to Mitch McConnel, the Republican majority leader, in Kentucky, and $108 million to lose to Lindsey Graham in South Carolina. Despite the fact Democrats do still have a chance at winning the Senate in the Georgia runoff races, it is unlikely that both of those seats will go Blue, both of which the democrats would need to win the Senate, (Vice President Harris would be the tie breaking vote). Furthermore, with midterm elections usually going against the party in power in the executive branch, in 2022 it seems likely that Republicans will flip the house and maintain a Senate majority. 

Despite their failed “Blue Wave,” Democrats had a significant victory in winning against Trump and making him a one-term president. Perhaps there is a takeaway from this election– most Americans do not want Donald Trump for a second term, including some Republicans, but not every Republican who voted against Trump is willing to become a Democrat and give up their conservative ideals because someone like Trump had to be at the head of their party. Either Trump will run again in 2024 and make the Republicans a front for his right-wing populist ideals, or in the next four years, Republicans will go back to their pre–Trump identity. Only time will tell what the outcome is

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