As the nation begins to understand why predictions didn’t pan out in the Midterm elections to heavily favor the Republicans, Florida’s elections seemed to be the only in the state to follow the political forecasts. Senator Marco Rubio handly won re-election with 57 percent of the vote, and Governor Ron DeSantis also easily won his re-election bid, winning nearly 60 percent of the vote with a 19 point lead against his opponent, Charlie Christ. Along with these victories, Republicans won 11 out of the 14 House races in the state. However, the biggest news of the night was not the margin of victory for the candidates, but the fact that both Rubio and DeSantis won in Miami-Dade county by over 50 percent, a county that Hillary Clinton won by 60 percent in 2016, suggesting that Florida, once a hard-fought battleground state, may very well be a solid red state going forward.
2. Counting Votes
While the Midterms were not subject to vote dumps at 4am like in the 2020 election, several states are still counting votes. Arizona and Nevada are still counting votes for the Senate, Gubernatorial, Secretary of State and other races. Approximately 600,000 votes remain to be counted which could decide the Senate race between Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly and Republican nominee Blake Masters, as well as the gubernatorial contest between Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Republican former television journalist Kari Lake. For Nevada, about 160,000 known ballots remain to be counted. The state is home to a crucial Senate contest between Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and Republican challenger Adam Laxalt. Either of these Senate race could determine who wins the majority in the Senate. Other states, such as California, Oregon, and Alaska, are also still counting votes for several races.
3. National Division
One fact that has remained consistent in American elections since 2016 is how divided the nation is. While turnout might slightly favor Democrats, in general, Democrats turned out en masse for Democrats, and Republicans for Republicans. Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan could not win in Ohio despite having a campaign hailed as “phenomenal” by several Democrats; neither could moderate Republicans like Joe O’Dea and Tiffany Smiley pull off upset victories in Colorado and Washington State. The Senate elections in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia have also been neck and neck, with Georgia going to a runoff election as neither candidate won 50 percent of the vote.
Generally, Midterms see a drop in voter turnout of about 20 percent as compared to general election years. However, this year was much different, as the turnout for the 2022 Midterms smashed the records set in 2018. Several analysts suggest the United States may have reached a new plateau of permanently high participation, stoked by each party’s fear of the other side. While many recent polls before election day suggested Republicans would win big, Democrat turnout proved to be much higher than expected. For example in Pennsylvania, John Fetterman did even better in his race than Joe Biden did in 2020, winning by more than twice the amount of votes that Biden received.
5. Overall Results
Democrats had a particularly good night, despite very close polls they were able to pull through in several states. Democratic governors in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Kansas and others are projected to hold their seats, and Josh Shapiro won his race in Pennsylvania. However, Republicans were able to hold on to some Governorship many thought would be close. Governor Kemp of Georgia and Governor Abbot of Texas both won with about 54 percent of the vote respectively. While Democrats have stunned the “red wave” in the House, Republicans are still poised to take it back after all the elections finish vote counts. Republicans were able to be competitive in the Senate and Governor elections of Democrat strongholds as well. In New York, Chuck Schumer had his worst election outing since 1998, when he was first elected to office. Though not victorious in the end, Lee Zeldin was able to garner 47 percent of the vote in New York’s gubernatorial race, the best outing for a Republican in New York since George Pataki won reelection in 2002.