While Democrats didn’t take the Senate (which would have required winning in some very red states in which they were surprisingly competitive), there was much to be happy about Election Night, and still more to celebrate as vote counts in the coming week resulted in more wins, from Kyrsten Synema‘s new Arizona Senate seat (the first for a Democrat in three decades), to the flipping of multiple U.S. and State Representative seats, to the elections of progressive judges and DAs around the country.
Midterm voter turnout was the highest it has been in a century! Youth voter turnout was higher than in the last seven midterm elections. People were engaged in Democracy, and those same people seem as galvanized one week out as they were in the days leading up to the election.
In further good news, the Indivisible folks, who educated so many and provided tools for the Resistance, have launched Indivisible 2.0, to help activists with steps for the next two years.
Here are my key midterm takeaways, recorded the morning after the election:
• House win means we can breathe again. (By the time all the House votes had been counted, Democrats picked up the most House seats in a generation.)
• Important state house wins around the U.S.– from governor’s races (bye-bye to Scott Walker in WI) to three additional state “trifectas”, Dem.-controlled House, Senate and Governorship.
• Wins for voting rights in Florida (voters overwhelmingly restored voting rights to 1.4 million prior felons) and Kansas (the defeat of voter-suppression agent, former Governor Kris Kobach). Passage of propositions to correct the gerrymandering in 3 states that has helped produce a Republican minority rule for decades.
• Progressive social justice wins around the country: Minimum wage increases, DAs who support criminal justice reform, Jim Crow-era jury rule overturned in Louisiana, Medicaid expansion in 3 deep-red states.
• Greatly expanded voter turnout, especially among young people.
• Groundwork laid by successful local grassroots organizing efforts.
• Highly engaged and informed citizenry who will continue the work.
• A renewed sense that individuals can make a difference and that a vision that reflects hope and inclusivity can resonate with a majority of Americans.
I’m hopeful. Are you?
Photo: Public Domain