As the mail-in votes are counted and the recounts finished, the Democratic advantage in the 2018 elections grows and grows.
- In the House, the biggest swing to the Democrats since Watergate on the strength of a 7 percent advantage in total votes cast.
- In the Senate, Republican gains capped at perhaps two instead of the Election Night projection of four.
- Large pickups in state legislatures, in ways that offer Democrats hope of halting or even reversing the gerrymandering and voter suppression imposed after 2010.
In light of these changes, should we revisit immediate post-election analysis that struck a more muted note? I wrote then:
The midterm elections delivered a less than fully satisfying result for Democratic voters, but an ideal outcome for the Democratic Party.
For Democrats, Election Night must have felt like the world’s slowest championship baseball game. Runner on base; runner on base; strike out; runner on base; run scored; fly out—and so through the night.
And I added:
Almost every candidate in whom Democrats at the national level invested emotional energy—Beto O’Rourke in Texas, Andrew Gillum in Florida, Stacey Abrams in Georgia—appears to have lost. Almost every detested Republican appears to have survived: Devin Nunes, Ted Cruz, Ron DeSantis, even Duncan Hunter, a California Republican under indictment.
Putting the cat truly among the pigeons, I also wrote:
There is no progressive majority in America. There is no progressive plurality in America. And there certainly is no progressive Electoral College coalition in America.
Even as Democratic vote totals climb, those observations still seem to me to hold true. Democrats racked up their most important gains in suburbs and among better-educated voters, especially women. They won seats such as the Seventh Congressional District of Texas, a seat won by George H. W. Bush in 1966 and held continuously by a Republican until now. The winning Democrat in the Seventh, a business-oriented attorney named Lizzie Fletcher, gained her party’s nomination by first winning a brutal primary against a rival fiercely backed by local activists and veterans of the Bernie Sanders campaign. Anti-Trump Republicans will swing against his party if offered an acceptable alternative—but if not, not.