Perspective on mid-term elections

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Retired Georgia state representative

Many including the president said before the midterm elections that they were a referendum on President Trump. Let’s see what happened.

The elections involved all 435 US House of Representatives seats, 35 U.S. Senate seats and several thousand state and local elections. Some say that the Democrats winning control of the House with a gain of 38 seats was a loss for President Trump, and it was. However, the Republicans netted at least one additional Senate seat with one still undecided.

If you compare this with Clinton’s first midterm, the Democrats lost 52 seats in the House and eight Senate seats. In Obama’s first midterm the Democrats lost 63 House seats and six Senate seats. Therefore, Trump did much better.

Despite the above, Clinton and Obama won re-election. 

Note that the Republicans maintain control of the House until Jan. 3, 2019, so we may still see some Republican accomplishments.

Maintaining control of the Senate is exceedingly consequential since the Senate decides on the president’s appointments of judges and cabinet members and foreign treaties.

With the death of Republican Sen. John McCain and Republican Senators Flake and Corker not seeking reelection, all of whom were part of the Never Trump movement, should result in a more supportive Senate for the Trump agenda.

Both parties can point to extenuating circumstances. For starters 39 incumbent Republican House members did not seek re-election to the House versus 18 Democrats. 

Given that incumbents win re-elections more than 90 percent of the time the Republicans started out the 2018 elections with a distinct disadvantage. 

On the Democrat side, they had 26 senators up for reelection while the Republicans only had nine.

Unfortunately, this midterm will be remembered for some possible vote count fraud; think Broward County Florida. Also, there are charges of voter suppression with Georgia being the most public. 

Add to this 2.4 million provisional ballots, which can be more easily manipulated, were cast with 79 percent allowed to be counted. I adamantly oppose vote count fraud, voter suppression and anyone not qualified being allowed to vote and so should you since such is a foundational premise of our democracy.

Also, there were more tight races than I can recall, which makes the aforementioned voting problems even more consequential.