7 Things: We now have a divided government, Ivey and statewide Republicans trounce hapless Alabama Democrats, voter suppression didn’t happen and more …
7. 2020 is now
— With 2018 in the books, all attention turns towards the 2020 presidential elections. Every decision made by our new divided government will be seen through that lens.
— The 2020 Senate map looks better for Democrats, with the exception of Alabama’s Doug Jones, but both parties hold two seats in enemy territory that will be up.
6. Donald Trump makes voting great again
— Huge early voting turnout was, in fact, an indicator of how big the overall turnout was going to be. Turnout was up everywhere, red and blue states alike. A total of 114 million votes were cast in U.S. House races in 2018, compared to 83 million in 2014.
— The final turnout will be tweaked over the next few days, but, as of now, 2018 turnout trailed 2016. It did, however, crush a normal midterm’s election in numbers.
5. Gubernatorial races in states you don’t live in were a mixed bag
— Florida stayed in the Republican camp with Governor-elect Ron DeSantis beating Andrew Gillum, while Iowa Democrat Fred Hubbell beat Republican Governor Kim Reynolds. Other surprises included Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker losing.
— Georgia’s election may go to a run-off as votes aren’t done being counted. It may fall below 50 percent for GOP Secretary of State Brian Kemp. This election could continue on for a few more weeks.
4. Voter suppression that was touted never materializes in Alabama — Again, glitches happen in some places
— The much promoted and clamored for white Republicans in Alabama punishing minorities for voting never came to fruition, which is local journalism’s “hardest hit.”
3. Republicans make gains in the Senate
— Democrat losses in the Senate include Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp and Bill Nelson, with a very unforgiving map.
— Republicans had one close race as well, but none closer than Ted Cruz of Texas who squeaked out a win against Democrat favorite Beto O’Rourke.
2. Democrats take the House with a huge win
— Big losses for Republicans across the country as Democrats gained 28 net seats and control of the House, which goes down as a big blow to the president’s agenda. Expect a future of divided government, investigations and more animous are coming.
— The Republicans have an uphill climb here fighting an unpopular president, history, the media, retirements and inevitability.
1. A bloodbath for Alabama Democrats as Republicans sweep and keep a super-majority in both chambers of the Alabama Legislature
— Governor Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall win re-election to their appointed seats easily. Chief Justice-elect Tom Parker won the closest of all statewide races as Lt. Governor-elect Will Ainsworth, Auditor Jim Ziegler and Secretary of State John Merrill cruised to election.
— Republicans ended up picking up more seats in the legislature as this was just a total repudiation of Alabama Democrats. The Doug Jones myth is dead. He won because Republicans stayed home.