The Political Canvas has Changed: Congress turns divided after the heated midterm elections

Dylan Fernandez

Staff Writer

The recent midterms have proved to be one of the most popular in recent history.  Never before has interest from the public been so high in a midterm election. With the New York Times estimating around 114 million voters, the 2018 midterms election was a sizeable step up from the 83 million voters back in the 2014 midterm elections. The midterms this year have caused the highest voter turnout ever in a midterm election in the nation’s history.  The causes for the large spike in voter turnout will be clearer when the voter demographics come out, but the 2018 midterms motivated people to vote unlike many other midterm elections.

The midterm elections were also some of the most expensive in history, with candidates putting in more money than ever before to ensure their victories. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut raised over 14 million dollars in campaign funds and spent over 9 million of that throughout the election, according to the Open Secrets Organization.  Senator Murphy ended up winning his second term in the U.S. Senate, beating Republican Matthew Corey by almost 300,000 votes.

Much of the pre-election predictions turned out to be true, with Democrats gaining control of the House of Representatives and Republicans keeping control of the Senate.  The Guardian reported after the elections that the Republicans gained 1 seats in the Senate, maintaining control, while they lost 32 seats to Democratic candidates in the House of Representatives, turning the house to have a Democratic Majority.

The result is a divided government, where the Republicans fully control the Executive branch of the President but no longer have complete control of Congress.  Without bipartisan efforts between the parties this means that it will be harder for bills to pass and Congress will overall be slower and less productive.

Copy of 7 Dylan Fernandez
Final results of the governor election in Connecticut

Many of the races were closer than expected though, especially in the gubernatorial races.  Connecticut had a highly contested election in the race for governor after a long campaign season for the two major candidates, Bob Stefanowski and Ned Lamont.

Lamont (D) won the race for governor against Stefanowski (R) in a race only separated by only 2.6% and a margin of 40,000 votes.  Connecticut is typically a very blue state and the closeness of the race although predicted in polls preceding the race was still very different from typical voting patterns in Connecticut.

In the House of Representatives in Connecticut not much changed except for Democrats gaining control of the 5th district, giving them complete control over all 5 districts in the state.  Democrat Jahana Hayes beat the incumbent Republican Manny Santos, one district of many that helped the Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives.