Democrats were looking forward to a Blue Wave. Progressives were hoping for progressive candidates. Right-of-center? A redder political map.
Well, we can delve into that later on, but here’s what we got for the most part last night.
The Big Progressive Wins
First, a list. Next what we can expect policy-wise from the new Democratic U.S. House of Representatives.
- Candidates outside the status quo:
- Jared Polis (D-CO) – the country’s first openly gay Governor
- Sharice Davids (D-KS) – the country’s first Native American, openly gay Congresswoman
- Deb Haaland (D-NM) – the country’s second Native American Congresswoman
- Ilhan Omar (D-MN) – the country’s first Somali-American, Muslim Congresswoman, a Somali refugee
- Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) – the country’s second Muslim Congresswoman
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) – the country’s youngest Congresswoman, at 29 years old
- Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) – the country’s second youngest Congresswoman, also 29
- Young Kim (R-CA) – the countries first Korean-American Congresswoman
- Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) – Massachusetts’ first black Congresswoman
- Janet Mills (D-ME) – Maine’s first woman Governor
- Letitia James (D-NY) – New York’s first black woman Attorney General
- Progressive ballot measures that passed*:
- San Francisco, CA – raised taxes on big corporations to fund homeless services
- Florida – returns voting rights to over a million people that served time for felony charges
- Louisiana – requiring felony convictions to have a unanimous jury conviction ruling
- Massachusetts – an affirming transgender bathroom anti-discrimination protection
- New Hampshire – affirms freedom from governmental intrusion in private or personal information
- Missouri – legalizing medical marijuana.
- Michigan –
- confirming automatic & Election Day registration
- confirming an independent redistricting commission
- And last but pot least — had to. legalizes recreational marijuana. Making Michigan the tenth state to do so. The others? Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
*Not a complete list
Although there were a lot of wins, there are some big losses to note before we move on. Before we touch on the bad though, let’s do a quick “good wrap.”
Kim Davis (R-KY), lost her election. She was the county clerk who refused to sign marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The Neo-Nazi GOP candidate renounced by his party lost to Illinois Democrats.
This is where the positives end here. In races across the country, Republicans made wins, losses for progressives. Electing racists wasn’t their only win on election night. In Alabama, voters stripped rights from pregnant people. They gave those full legal rights to fertilized eggs, instead. Republicans went so far as electing to Congress Steve King (R-IA), denounced by his party as a Nazi.
Moving forward, nonetheless.
What to Expect from the new Democratic U.S. House of Representatives
Eight (8) years since the last time Democrats controlled the House, there’s a new image for Congress. A woman’s image. Over 100 women**, are new and returning to the House of Representatives. About one quarter (1/4) of the 435 seats. These are the Policy Positions shared by those women listed above, as per Vote Smart:
- Healthcare to cover pre-existing conditions and protecting the ACA
- Pro-choice rights
- To balance the budget, income taxes rising, particularly for the wealthy and top 1%
- Campaign finance reform
- Increasing federal spending to spur economic growth, not cutting corporate taxes
- Ensuring education has proper federal standards
- Government funding for renewable energy
- The federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions
- Gun control legislation
- Pushing back against “The Wall.” Protecting immigrants and ensuring asylum and an easier path to citizenship
- legalizing recreational marijuana use
**A similar look at the Top Priorities of these women at a later date.
***Rashida Tlaib offered the most to Vote Smart. She made very clear her political stances and postions.
**** Notable mention. Kate Brown (D-OR) – the countries first openly bisexual governor is re-elected in Oregon.