On Tuesday, Nov. 6, Americans voted in new representatives to Congress, the Senate, state governorships and local offices in the 2018 midterm election. The Republican party retained control of the Senate, but lost control of the House of Representatives. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Democratic party had 220 House seats and 45 Senate, and Republicans had 195 House seats and 51 in the Senate.
Democrats only needed to gain 25 seats in the House for control. Of the 27 seats they have gained so far, two were congressional districts in Illinois. Illinois’ sixth congressional district, where Wheaton College is located, was considered by many political analysts to be one of the nation’s most competitive races. Democrat Sean Casten won the House seat from incumbent Peter Roskam, with 52.8 percent of the vote. Roskam received 47.2 percent.
Illinois’ fourteenth congressional district which borders DuPage county to the west, and also flipped its House seat from Republican to Democrat. With 51.9 percent of the vote, Lauren Underwood took incumbent Randy Hultgren’s seat in another close election. Considered “battleground districts” by Ballotpedia, Illinois’ twelfth and thirteenth congressional districts also held close elections, but Republicans retained control in both.
With 51.8 percent of the vote, Mike Bost won the twelfth district to Brendan Kelley, and with 50.7 percent, Rodney Davis won the thirteenth district to Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.
There were also 33 Senate seats up for election on Tuesday. Only four had flipped control as of Wednesday afternoon, ultimately keeping power in Republican hands. In Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota, Republicans Mike Braun, Josh Hawley and Kevin Kramer won Senate positions to Democratic incumbent candidates.
In Nevada, Democrat Jacky Rosen flipped the state from red to blue. Some states held special elections on marijuana legalization, minimum wage, abortion and Medicaid expansion. With a vote of 55.8 percent, Michigan voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Missouri voted to allow medical marijuana.
Alabama and West Virginia approved state amendments to restrict abortion that would have major effects if the Supreme Court’s “Roe v. Wade” decision were ever overturned. Arkansas and Missouri voted overwhelmingly to increase the minimum wage, and Nebraska and Idaho both voted to expand Medicaid.
The 2018 midterm election saw major changes in American government that may determine the nation’s political climate for the next two years.