Election 2018: We Canvassed. We Voted. We Conquered
Shortly after election day 2018, Trump called the results a “Big Victory” for himself and the GOP. The always gullible mainstream media was conned into calling the results a “split decision.” Due to years of being intimidated and brow beaten by the GOP, the mainstream media initially couldn’t call it a Democratic victory.
As the results have trickled in since November 6, even some members of the mainstream media and the GOP have recognized it was the Democrats who scored the “Big Victory.” Behind the scenes, Trump was reported to have been alarmed by the results and fearful of the upcoming Democratic investigations. The former TV reality star’s behavior has been more erratic than usual since November 6.
The numbers certainly support the case that the Democrats won big. According to NBC News, the Democrats achieved the biggest victory in the House elections since their triumph in 1974 in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Currently, the Democrats lead in the national popular vote by 8.6 million votes. That’s the largest margin of victory in history for either party, according to NBC News election data.
Similarly, the House Democrats lead in the national popular vote by 53% to 45% and are on the verge of picking up 40 seats. The consensus forecast before the election was for a 30 seat pickup. This is a remarkable result since the economy was mired in recession in 1974 and the U.S. had just experienced the most serious political scandal in the history of the country.
The magnitude of the Democratic victory compares very well to past wave elections. According to Nate Silver: “ There shouldn’t be much question about whether 2018 was a wave election. Of course it was a wave…. Personally, I’d rank the 2018 wave a tick behind both 1994, which represented a historic shift after years of Democratic dominance of the House, and 2010, which reflected an especially ferocious shift against then-President Barack Obama after he’d been elected in a landslide two years earlier. But I’d put 2018 a bit ahead of most other modern wave elections, such as 2006 and 1982. “
The other remarkable thing about the mid-term elections was the high voter turnout. Both parties’ bases turned out. The GOP base always turns out. The problem for the GOP is that their base is smaller than the Democrat’s base.
In 2018, national voter turnout was 49%. In contrast, national voter turnout in 2014 was an anemic 36%. This year was the highest voter turnout for a mid-term election since 1914. In contrast, the 2014 turnout was the lowest in 70 years.
When Democratic voters turnout, Democrats win. When we stay home, the GOP wins. The likes of David Koch and Mitch McConnell want you to believe that your vote doesn’t matter and you should stay home. Any middle class or working family person that stays home is essentially a vote for the GOP and the reactionary oligarchs that supports them.
We are in the current predicament because millions of Democrats stayed home or voted third party in many previous cycles. That’s how we ended up with the likes of George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump as president. Our work is never done and no victory over the radical right is ever final in nature. We need to remain energized and active for every election cycle in the future. No exceptions. Now let’s get it done!