In a Washington Post piece I read today, I saw a saying: "Republicans are naturally triumphal even when they lose and Democrats tend to get depressed even when they win."
This seems generally true.
But like I said last night, I'm pleased with how the midterm election turned out. Sure, it was distressing to see Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, and Beto O'Rourke fail to win their races. But here in Oregon we enjoyed a genuine Blue Wave, and Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives is a really big deal.
Plus, even though currently Democrats are down three Senate seats -- Republicans flipped North Dakota, Indiana, Florida, and Missouri, while the Dems flipped Nevada -- there's a lot of votes left to be counted in Arizona, so there's a decent chance that Sinema could overcome McSally's lead, which would reduce the Democrat net loss to two. That'd be a good outcome for the Dems, given how many seats they had to defend in Trump territory.
But this barely scratches the surface of the progressive wonderful'ness that marked yesterday's midterm results.
Here's links, and an excerpt from each, of informed commentary I came across today that should cheer up anyone who believes the Democrats didn't fare very well in the midterms.
First, an encouraging tweet from Nate Silver. It shows that if a presidential election happened with which party won the popular midterm vote in each state, the Democrat would have won the presidency with 314 electoral votes. Great news for 2020!
Then there's a way-cool New York Times analysis of how the vote in each congressional district changed in comparison to 2016. A blue arrow pointing left, not surprisingly, indicates a shift toward the Democratic party. A red arrow pointing right indicates a shift toward the Republican party. The length of the arrow shows the degree of the shift.
The online story has some animations to it, plus some additional maps. Keep in mind that the story says only 30 districts actually flipped from red to blue (so far). This image only shows the direction of the shift: several dozen districts became more Republican, while 317 districts shifted toward the Democrats.
For us progressive Oregonians, the marked blue shift in eastern Oregon is encouraging. Even though Republican Greg Walden won re-election, his Democrat opponent did much better than Clinton did in 2016.
Greg Sargent, a Washington Post opinion writer, said this in "Three of Trump's biggest fables died last night."
The 2018 elections are being widely painted as a “split decision” for President Trump — Democrats won the House while losing seats in the Senate — but this framing actually undercuts just how much there is for Democrats and progressives to celebrate about the results.
Three of the biggest narratives driving our politics now lie in ruins, and their deaths carry important implications for the future of the Trump presidency, public opinion in the Trump era, and the character of our country.
Trump has magical political powers, and his lies are “working.”...Democrats have no answer to the nationalist backlash...Democrats can’t assemble a multi-racial majority to confront Trumpism.
Paul Waldman, also with the Washington Post, wrote "Yes, it was a wave. Here are all the other ways progressives won." I'll quote it at some length, given how positive it is.
There’s a strange character to the post-election analyses of the moment, in which a wave election for Democrats where they won back the House of Representatives is being characterized as something like half a win. That’s partly because a number of dynamic young Democrats who had raised perhaps unreasonable hopes for victory fell short, but it’s also because Republicans are naturally triumphal even when they lose and Democrats tend to get depressed even when they win.
So in order to put the election in perspective, I’d like to widen our gaze beyond a few Senate and House races and look at some of the other results, particularly at the state level. When you do that, you see that Democrats have an awful lot to be happy about even beyond taking the House. Let’s break it down.
Democrats won in key governor’s races. While much of the attention was focused on the campaigns of Andrew Gillum in Florida and Stacey Abrams in Georgia, both of which fell just short (though Abrams still hopes to force her opponent into a runoff), Democrats won a bunch of key governor’s races around the country. They flipped seven seats: Nevada, New Mexico, Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Maine.
...Democrats won big in state legislatures. You’ve probably heard that over the eight years Barack Obama was president, Democrats lost a net of almost a thousand seats in state legislatures. Which is bad, but last night Democrats gained about 300 seats, so they’re well on their way to reversing those losses.
...Democratic women won everywhere. As of now, 95 women have won or are projected to win seats in the House, 82 of whom are Democrats. That includes the first two Muslim American women and the first two Native American women; a record number of women of color will be serving in the next Congress.
...Americans’ health care won big. Voters in the conservative states of Idaho, Nebraska and Utah passed ballot initiatives to accept the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, which will bring coverage to hundreds of thousands of their citizens.
...Voting rights and democratic reforms were expanded. Voters in Michigan passed initiatives that will turn over redistricting to a nonpartisan commission and allow for automatic voter registration, same-day registration, no-excuse absentee voting, and straight-ticket voting. Voters in Colorado and probably Utah (votes are still being tallied) approved nonpartisan redistricting commissions, Nevadans approved automatic voter registration, and Maryland voters approved same-day registration.
...Other progressive ballot measures won. A strong gun safety measurepassed in Washington state. Michigan voters legalized recreational marijuana, and medical marijuana was approved in Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah. Voters in Missouri and Arkansas passed increases in the minimum wage.
This really was a blue wave. There’s no question that Republicans won some key victories, but that shouldn’t distract us from just how big a blue wave this was — even if gerrymandering and geography helped contain its effects.