Although returns on the West Coast are still being counted and a few provisional ballot counts are occurring in other areas, on Election Night, the Democratic Party flipped at least 29 House seats, taking back control of the lower chamber in the U.S. Congress. Republicans were able to flip three House seats, one in Pennsylvania and two in Minnesota.
On average, the party in power loses approximately 30 seats in House in the midterm elections, while only losing a few in the Senate. Last night, while Republicans lost a historical average amount in the House, the GOP did gain three seats in the Senate after Republican candidates beat out Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN). However, Dean Heller (R-NV) lost by five points in a state which Hillary Clinton carried in the 2016 presidential election, leaving a Republican majority in the upper chamber.
In the gubernatorial elections, while Ron DeSantis of Florida and Brian Kemp of Georgia held out against strong Democratic candidates, the liberal party flipped the governorships of seven states – Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.
President Donald Trump held a press conference Wednesday morning to give his remarks on what was said by many to be a referendum on his first term in office. Trump said the midterm elections “deified history,” insofar as gains for his party in the Senate were concerned. Nevertheless, he seemed to downplay losses in the House.
Furthermore, he also spoke of how the losing GOP candidates refused to “embrace” his presidency and his agenda, adding that his message produced “very close to a complete victory in last night’s midterm elections.”
When asked about the future leadership in the House of Representatives, and whether Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) would assume the role of Speaker of the House following big gains by Democrats, President Trump said quite categorically, “Nancy Pelosi deserves the speakership.” He also reiterated that, if necessary, he would “deliver the votes.”
Interestingly, when asked about political gridlock in his next two years in office, Trump responded that there would be “less” gridlock with Democrats taking back the House.
“I really believe that we have a chance to get along very well with the Democrats, and if that’s the case, we can do a tremendous amount of legislation,” President Trump said.
As one-party rule in Washington is over for at least the next two years, Republicans must come to terms with big political shifts in growing suburban areas in states that traditionally vote for GOP candidates. At the press conference, President Trump refused to divulge his thoughts on what that might mean for him going into the 2020 presidential election.