Madison Polkowitz / Gavel Media

Democrats Make History in the Midterms

In the two weeks following the Midterm Elections, each day has yielded new results from campaigns across the country. While it may not have been the complete "blue wave" that Democrats were hoping for, the party did score a big win and made history on election night.

Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives, which will now place a major check on the Trump administration's and the Republican party’s power.

In Nancy Pelosi’s words, the victories on election night were “more than about Democrats and Republicans. They [were] about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances to the Trump administration.” Moreover, Democrats made history by electing a diverse group of officials to take congressional seats in January.

Women shattered glass ceilings as a record number of females and first-timers were elected, elevating over 100 women to congressional seats. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) both became the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Tlaib will also become the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress. Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York became the youngest elected woman to Congress at age 29. Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Deb Haaland (D-NM) will become the first Native American women elected. In Massachusetts, Ayanna Pressley became the state's first Black woman elected to Congress.

The first woman House members from Iowa will be Democrats Abby Finkenauer and Cindy Axne. Democrats Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia became the first Latinas to represent Texas in Congress, and in defeating Republican Shawn Moody, Janet Mills became the first female governor of Maine.

Democrats also elected their first openly gay man, Jared Polis, as Governor of Colorado. This first will secure representation of the LGBTQ+ community in Congress.

While Democrats may have been disheartened by the losses of Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Gillum in Texas and Florida, respectively—and more broadly at their loss of seats in the Senate—overall the Midterms were positive for the party. Beto O’Rourke and Andrew Gillum lost by very slim margins in states that typically go red. Additionally, Joe Manchin won the Senate seat in West Virginia, a state that Trump won by almost 40% in 2016.

These are huge accomplishments for the Democratic Party which demonstrate the country’s negative sentiments towards Trump’s agenda and the desire for a change in leadership. Furthermore, they pave the way for the Democratic party to take back more seats and possibly the presidency in 2020.

The Gavel reached out to the College Democrats of Boston College for comment, and they were very positive about the results.

“The College Democrats of Boston College are excited and encouraged by the results of the midterm elections. [We] hope that Democrats, who are now in control of the House, will serve as a check on President Trump and promote progressive values at our country’s federal level,” the organization stated.

“[We] are proud of all the first-time candidates, volunteers, and voters who stepped up to make this election different from the last and hope the expanded participation demonstrated from both groups is a permanent change.”

Both Democrats and Republicans experienced wins and losses on election night, but now with a Democratic majority in the House, there will be a greater check on presidential power. Moving forward, both parties will capitalize on their midterm gains to prepare for the fight ahead in 2020.

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