What has the 2018 US midterm election wrought?

I watched the midterm returns until 2 am this morning. Getting up at 7 am made for a short night, but Travis needed a ride to school. I feel there are some interesting lessons learned from the US midterm elections…

The divide between urban and rural voters widened. The Democrats had a strong showing in the urban areas which gained them the house advantage by 26 additional seats, and the number may still rise. Republicans broke records for the number of voters in rural areas who went to the polls. The map remains a sea of red with islands of blue.

There was a strong showing for former veterans who are Democrats. I’m glad we have more vets in Congress. We may need their input soon

Some new firsts… the highest number of women winning their bids for election… a Somali-American woman, a Muslim woman, a lesbian Native American, and the youngest woman ever to be in Congress won in their House districts.

Six more congressmen and congresswomen with scientific backgrounds are going to Washington DC; three Engineers, a Pediatrician and a Registered Nurse, a Biochemist, and a Software Engineer.

The Blue Wave appears to be more of a Purple Puddle so it will be interesting to see how each side tries to govern. Forty-five Republicans in the House retired this year, an unprecedented number.  President Trump’s House losses were far less than Clinton’s loss of 54 seats in 1994 and President Obama’s loss of  63 seats in 2010 midterms. This bodes well for President Trump. Despite these major setbacks, both Clinton and Obama went on to win second terms.

The real wave wore camouflage. There was a camo wave yesterday as 77 former members of the military became Senators, Congressmen or Congresswomen, and governors around the nation. In all, 92 vets will be part of the 116th Congress. Of the 92, 25 are Democrats and 67 are Republicans.

The conventional wisdom of Washington DC remains narrow and unfocused. Poll numbers showed a Blue Wave. Florida has a new Republican Governor and Senator. Four incumbent Democratic senators lost who were 5 point or higher in the polls than their opponents. Beto will not replace Senator Ted Cruz no matter how much money he spent campaigning. We still have to wait and see what will happen with Jeff Flake’s Senate seat in Arizona. Republican Martha McSally maintains a slight lead and her opponent Kyrsten Sinema was 3 points ahead going into Tuesday.

Speaking of money, the amount spent in this midterm campaign may top $9 billion! Think about that the next time someone says money isn’t corrupting our political system.

The Attorney General has been asked to resign and he did so. What will his resignation bode for the Mueller investigations? My pick for AG… please President Trump bring on Trey Gowdy of South Carolina.

The Republicans own the Senate, all Presidential appointments will go through. This is a big win for the President and the Republicans. The Senate has not had such a robust pro-GOP bias since 1913.

Nine of the eleven Senatorial candidates President Trump campaigned for won. Nine of eleven is an astounding number and shows what power he has from the Bully Pulpit. 

The Democrats now run the House Committees. Stand by for subpoenas and potential gridlock… which the Stock Market loves, rising 545.29 points today.

Every Democratic senator who voted against Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the nation’s highest court lost in their reelection bids: Donnelly of Indiana, McCaskill of Missouri, Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Nelson of Florida. Lindsey Graham called it “Kavanaugh’s Revenge.”

One online newsgroup states the US is now in a Cold Civil War. It seems there is little room for compromise right now. Both sides say they will work together. Past statements leave compromise in doubt in my mind. I feel this Cold Civil War will worsen during the pull for power by each side.

Young voters turned out in historic numbers and helped drive the Democrats to victory. My son waited in line for three hours forty-five minutes to vote yesterday. He wasn’t happy about that but he did it. The polls in Provo stayed open another three and a half hours because there were that many people in line.

A real shock… medical marijuana passed in Utah! Prop 2 passed even after the LDS church leadership came out publicly against it. No one saw that coming.

Now… the “So What” of this election. The electoral college becomes even more critical now that the divide between less populated rural areas and more densely populated urban areas continues to divide. There will be a push by the Democrats to do away with the electoral college after the sting of 2016. There was a good reason the Framers put the electoral college in the voting system. One look at the Presidential Election map of 2016 shows a sea of red with islands of blue. If the House Democrats investigate vs. legislate, it will be their doom in 2020. The economy is growing, more people are working, there are more jobs than people to fill them… President Trump has a lot to be proud of. 

I feel the Cold Civil War will intensify though. The push and pull for power will make the rhetoric and probably the violence more likely. The rhetoric of the mainstream media in President Trump’s press conference is a good indication of how bad it’s going to get. Seems the Democrats taking control of the House is emboldening many in the mainstream media. And that same mainstream media will be the bullhorn for the Democrats no matter what President Trump does. He could cure cancer tomorrow and they will say he took to long doing it. 

We may be standing on a precipice looking over a big valley right now. And our enemies are taking notice. Go read how they view what happened yesterday.

About the author, Mark Hasara

Author of Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit, Mark Hasara is a retired US Air Force pilot with 24 year in the KC-135 airborne tanker. He is a speaker and aviation industry consultant in campaign planning and cockpit architecture. Follow his weekly newsletter “On the Nations DIME”.