Last Tuesday, Americans headed to their polling places for decisive mid-term elections. Across the country, voter turnout spiked to historic levels. Races in deeply red states and districts turned competitive, like in Texas, where Beto O'Rourke finished just three points behind incumbent Ted Cruz in his Senate campaign, and some districts flipped entirely, like Virginia's 10th district, where Democrat Jennifer Wexton took a closely watched seat from incumbent Republican Barbara Comstock. The House of Representatives, where Democrats secured a hard-won majority, is full of first-time representatives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—the youngest woman ever elected to the House. The 116th Congress, as a whole, will contain the most women it's ever had, plus the first Native American women in Congress, and the first Muslim women in the House.
Most notably, across the country, some elections dragged on for days after Election Night. In Arizona, it took almost a week to certify Kyrsten Sinema as the winner of the state's Senate race—and Sinema is the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Arizona since 1988. The Mississippi Senate election will go to a runoff between a Democrat and a Republican. On Friday, November 15th, Democrat Stacey Abrams acknowledged she'd lost the governor's race in Georgia to Republican Brian Kemp, the former secretary of state. Florida's Senate race between Democrat Bill Nelson and outgoing Republican governor Rick Scott triggered a recount, and the election results won't be formalized until next Tuesday. The governor's race was hotly contested for days, but even with the recount, Republican Ron DeSantis is almost certain to win. Through all of this counting and re-counting, there were allegations of voter suppression, especially in Florida and Georgia.
Now that most of the elections have been certified, freshman members of Congress this week went to the capital for orientation, and both parties held caucuses and leadership votes as they waited for the final results to come in.
More From Pacific Standard on the Mid-Term Elections
- Here's Where Voters Rejected Anti-Immigrant Mid-Term Candidates and Measures
- The Legal Strategy Behind Alabama and West Virginia's New Anti-Abortion Amendments
- What Do the Mid-Terms Mean for Marijuana Legalization in America?
- How Barriers to the Ballot Box Marred the Mid-Terms
- What Do the Mid-Term Election Results Mean for Renewable Energy and Climate Change?
- Only One Legislature Is Now Under Split Party Control
- Women's Success in the 2018 Mid-Terms Is About More Than a Blue Wave