No matter how some still uncertain outcomes turn out- here is what I think we need to take away from yesterday.
1. It was a genuine wave. Both House and Senate races ended with Democrats getting over 9% more votes than the Republicans. This is the second biggest spread in history, I think.
2. Obviously, the House provides a check on everything but court appointments, and can use the power of subpoenas to investigate the crooks in the Republican Party. Hopefully they will realize that Obama’s ‘can’t we all get along” strategy is a dead end
3. The role of women as voters and as candidates was unprecedented.
4. The division between cultures rooted in the Confederacy or in rural regions contrasted to cities and suburbs has never been more clear.
5. Long term problems in the Senate, where rural states wield vastly more influence than they should, will not go away.
6. We need national voting standards rigorously enforced.
7. The distortion in House representation through gerrymandering took a blow in North Carolina and Michigan in particular.
8. Florida passed an initiative allowing most convicted felons to vote after serving their term. This covers more than 1 million people, disproportionately minorities. Many felonies, of course, involved pot. This might be enough to turn Florida a lot more blue. For example, as of this writing Sen. Ben Nelson has lost to Rick ‘Voldemort’ Scott by 35,000 votes (and is wanting a recount).
9. Two Black gubernatorial candidates came very close in Florida and Georgia- and as I write these words it is (remotely) possible Abrams will win in a new election or recount. This is big.
10. Seven governorships switched from Republican to Democratic.
11. A number of state legislatures lost Republican control and at least six new ones will now be under Democratic control.
12. There are two Native American and two Muslim women elected to Congress. There never were any before. Colorado elected an openly gay governor. There is more- but the symbols inherent these examples tells the story.