By Robert A. Vella

Although there still are some votes to be counted and a few races to be determined, the results of the 2018 midterm elections are now conclusive.  Here’s my final assessment along with supporting statistics:

U.S. House of Representatives

Democrats have won 234 seats, Republicans have won 198 seats, and there are 3 seats yet to be decided.  This represents a net gain of 38-41 seats for Democrats which is slightly above the mid-line of pre-election projections, and which is a very big victory by any standard.  From strictly a perspective of how much political power was garnered, I wouldn’t describe it as a “blue wave” because other midterms were even more lopsided and because Democrats did not take control of the U.S. Senate.  However, from the perspective of how many votes each party garnered, it certainly does qualify as a wave election.  More on that later.

U.S. Senate

Democrats have won 47 seats, Republicans have won 51 seats with two more probables (Florida, and Mississippi).  This represents a net loss of 0-2 seats for Democrats which is exactly at the mid-line of pre-election projections.  Considering the very unfavorable electoral math facing Democrats who were defending many more seats than Republicans, these results should not be seen in negative terms.


Democrats have won 23 seats, Republicans have won 25 seats with two more probables (Florida, and Georgia).  This represents a net gain of 7 seats for Democrats which is slightly above the mid-line of pre-election projections, and which was accompanied by proportional gains in other statewide offices and in the state legislatures.  Again, this is a big victory for Democrats which will benefit them in many ways going forward including in 2020 census redistricting measures.


Voter turnout will surpass 49.3% which will be a huge increase of over 12.6% (approximately 33 million more votes) from the previous midterm in 2014.  These are record numbers for the last 100 years in America.  However, from purely a perspective of democratic participation, it must be seen as rather dismal civic engagement;  and, that’s why the highly regarded Democracy Index rates the U.S. as a “flawed democracy.”

In non-presidential election years, the only way to gauge the national popular vote breakdown is by analyzing the total votes cast for the U.S. House of Representatives.  In those contests, roughly 61.6 million votes were cast for Democratic candidates and roughly 53.6 million votes were cast for Republican candidates.  That represents a margin of victory of about 7% (53% to 46%) which is about the same margin Barack Obama defeated John McCain by in the decisive 2008 presidential election (Obama won the Electoral College that year 365 to 173).  The nearly 8 million vote margin won by Democrats this year more than doubles Hillary Clinton’s popular vote margin in 2016 (she lost the Electoral College that year 227 to 304).


The 2018 midterms were a national referendum on President Trump in which he was soundly rebuked.

Of the individual policy issues voters were concerned about, healthcare topped the list.  Specifically, voters overwhelmingly rejected repeated Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare), to block Medicaid expansion, and to remove insurance requirements to cover preexisting medical conditions.

Suburban women and Independents swung heavily towards Democratic candidates.

The Republican defeat was most notable in the Midwest states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and in the former Republican stronghold of Orange County, California.  In Ohio, Republicans continued their recent run of success;  but, their margins of victory elsewhere including the Deep South shrunk significantly.  Some swing states like Colorado appear to be becoming more blue (i.e. favoring Democrats).

Further reading

House GOP women confront a political crisis — their party is mostly men

Orange County goes blue, as Democrats complete historic sweep of its seven congressional seats

20 thoughts on “Final Post-Midterm Assessment with Statistics

  1. You guys really have to sort out the Senate. Two senators for California (40 million people) / Two senators for South Dakota (870,000 people).

    Saw something recently that described it as somehting like the GOP controls the senate while representing just 18% of the entire US population.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: Dance of the Dictators: Trump fires tear gas at migrants while Putin attacks Ukrainian ships | The Secular Jurist

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