There was a Blue Wave

Ideas and Issues

New Orleans    With the midterm election fading into the rearview mirror, somehow it is becoming clearer than it was the morning after the votes were counted.  What began as a significant, though perhaps modest, victory with the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives, with each new result and analysis seems more along the lines of the “blue wave” that boosters and partisans had predicted.

Several Senate seats were lost with North Dakota and Missouri Democrats unable to shake the Trump fever in their rural base, but Arizona, long the bellwether Regain Republican bastion of retirees and white socks, not only elected a Democrat, but a younger woman at that.  The Florida count is still ongoing, and could drift stronger to the Republican column where they are still leading, but still not a beatdown.

The House count for the resurgent Democrats has gone from mid-twenties to some speculation that it could hit between 35 and 40 seats.  There were at least seven governor seats picked up.  That’s a shellacking, as President Obama noted of some of his midterm woes. Trump’s declaration of victory in the midterms is now something that will rank close to his refusal to believe the crowd count at his inauguration.

Stanley Greenberg, long a Democratic pollster, most prominent in the Bill Clinton era, in a Times op-ed piece makes the case even more starkly;

  • The turnout was the highest midterm rush in 50 years.
  • The Democrats won the national congressional vote by a margin greater than 2010 Tea Party rout.
  • Women across the board surged for the Democrats, not just white, suburban college-educated women.71% of millennials and 54% of unmarried white women went with the Democrats.  White women without a 4-year degree raised their vote margin for the Democrats by 13%.
  • The support for Republicans among white working-class men narrowed from 3 to 1 to 2 to 1.
  • 10% of Trump voters supported Democrats in the midterms and 40% of moderate Republicans either voted Democratic or stayed home.
  • 54% of voters believed that immigrants made the country stronger, rejecting the Trump hate speeches.
  • Democrats raised their vote share by 4% in the suburbs now holing 50% of voters.
  • Democrats cut the Republicans’ margin in rural areas by somewhere between 7 and 13%.

In short, Greenberg’s analysis is the tide is moving out even more quickly on Trump than any, including him, might have predicted.

What can I say?  The fight has still only just begun, but it’s clearly “on,” big time.