As most of the results from the record-breaking 2018 midterm roll in, it appears that the “Blue Wave” expected to destroy the right in its entirety. With the hype from the mainstream media about Democratic challengers Beto O’Rourke, Jacky Rosen, Phil Breseden, and many others, one would believe that this blue tide decimated whatever chance conservatives possessed of maintaining a narrow majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate. While Republicans lost the House by a standard margin, we gained historic numbers in the U.S. Senate and witnessed some upset gubernatorial elections. Let’s briefly analyze how wrong the pundits ended up on Tuesday night:
What’s an election night without a harrowing, down-to-the-wire finish in Florida? For the United States Senate race, the Governor, Rick Scott (R-FL), challenged incumbent Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL). While the polls went back and forth the entire year, the final Real Clear Politics (RCP) average showed Bill Nelson with a 2.2 advantage. Despite this, Rick Scott narrowly captured Florida by under a .4 win. As of Wednesday, November 7th, a recount will happen for this race.
Florida also saw the extremely close and unpredicted Governor race. Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL) won a primary everyone predicted he would lose. Instead, he received the President’s endorsement and carried the primaries with almost 20 points. To make matters even more interesting, RCP put Tallahassee Mayor and profound socialist Andrew Gillum (D-FL) at a 3.6 advantage. In the end, DeSantis edged Gillum out with a .7 win.
Self-proclaimed moderate Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) never really stood a chance according to early polls. One early result in February showed Heitkamp up 3, but every poll thereafter showed Representative-at0large Kevin Cramer (R-ND) dominating. Sen. Heitkamp’s refusal to vote for Kavanaugh most likely sealed the nail in the coffin for her Senatorial career. By the end of the night, Rep. Cramer won with 10.8. RCP predicted him to win with 9.8.
Another interesting statewide race: while the incumbent Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) knew from the beginning that his race with Mike Braun (R-IN) would become competitive, he never expected the end results. RCP put Donnelly at a 1.3 advantage heading into election day. The final results showed Mike Braun, the challenger, winning by 8.4 points. Another Democrat in a conservative state that voted against Kavanaugh.
Yet another Democrat in a highly conservative state dogged by her vote against Kavanaugh. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) faced off with Missouri’s Attorney General Josh Hawley (R-MO) and lost brutally. While every poll showed them tied or gave Hawley a narrow advantage, the actual voters delivered Hawley with an impressive win. At the end of the night, Josh Hawley won the US Senate seat, beating McCaskill by 6 points.
Possibly the most correct of the polls came from Arizona’s Senate race, where Martha McSally (R-AZ) faced off with Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). Both Congresswomen in the United States House of Representatives, the whole nation predicted a close race. And just like RCP predicted (McSally +1), the results with 99% in show McSally with +.9 and gaining. Though not officially called, it feels safe to say that McSally pulled off the W here.
Amazingly, though never predicted to end as a close race, Arizona governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) won with 17% more than his opponent.
A race that nobody expected to become competitive became just that. But as soon as Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) seemed like a valid threat to Senator Red Cruz (R-TX), he seemed to lose momentum. After dropping $70 million from celebs in California and the predicted “Democrat victory” in Texas, Cruz carried the state with almost a three-point advantage. Not nearly as good as a Republican should do, but not a “Blue Wave” by any means.
Another highly conservative state that nobody expected to get heated, Georgia’s gubernatorial election came down to the wire. Though Brian Kemp (R-GA) only narrowly won, he still beat Stacey Abrams (R-GA), another Beto-style candidate that received large sums of money from Hollywood. Kemp won the state with a 1.6 advantage.
Though the Republican lost here, John James (R-MI) gave Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) a run for her money. Polls this entire season predicted Stabenow winning by double digits, but by the end, this impressive veteran brought the race down to under a 7 point difference. Quite impressive for a Republican in Michigan.
And while we Republicans did celebrate these victories, we must acknowledge the loss of Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), Senator Dean Heller (R-NV), gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach (R-KS) and the aforementioned House of Representatives. By January 2019, though, will anybody consider this anything more than an American stalemate?