You win some, you lose some.
In Idaho we won a big one–Medicaid expansion. Thousands of the state’s marginally employed will now have medical care they have not been able to afford.
Voters didn’t take the next step, however, and elect candidates who’ve supported expansion. We can only guess whether the Republican majority will cede to the voters’ choice.
Overall, Idaho didn’t experience a blue wave, much less the blue tsunami it would take to make this a two-party state. Statewide races were a repeat of 2014 with Democrat Cindi Wilson almost becoming superintendent of education (48.6 percent) just as Jana Jones had (49.5).
And, although enthusiasm for Paulette Jordan seemed to flood the state, her percent of the vote was not better than A.J. Balukoff’s in 2014 (38.2 to 38.6 percent ).
Democrats are happy, however, to have won three new Idaho House seats, two in west Boise’s District 15.
And it’s still possible as I write that they’ll make up for a lost senate seat, by gaining the District 15 one. It’s no surprise that District 15 is becoming as blue as the rest of Boise.
Nationwide, the blue wave appeared stronger.
NPR estimates that 101 Democratic and 19 Republican women will be serving in the 2019 Congress. It’s only 23 percent, but it’s a record.
Included are the first two American Indian and the first two Muslim Congresswomen.
And come 2019, Democrats will hold the chairmanships in the US. House. Republicans won’t be carrying out their promises to end health care exchanges and cut Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. Committees will review the recent changes/attacks agencies have made to environmental protections and banking regulations.
Idaho Republicans appreciate sharing in the benefits.
Democrats gained over 30 House seats. At this time, results of eight races depend on absentee and provisional ballots still being counted.
And the U.S. Senate? Democrats wanted control to stop the stream of Trump yes-men joining the Federal judiciary, but the odds were against it.
2012 had been a good year for Democrats so 26 left-wing senators and only nine Republicans were up for re-election this year.
And 10 of those Democratic seats up were in states Trump carried in 2016. Democrats were more apt to suffer significant losses rather than gain the two seats needed for a majority.
Fortunately, six of those 10 states did vote Democratic senators in. Senator Tester of Montana held his seat in spite of President Trump’s repeated rallies to support his opponent.
Four losses and a single gain, in Nevada.
The Florida seat still hangs in the balance. Gov. Rick Scott’s lead had shrunk to 35,000 by last Friday. A recount is possible.
Democrats gained seven governorships, defeating both the anti-union, anti-public education Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Kris Kobach of anti-voter rights fame in Kansas. A well-targeted blue wave.
Other states that replaced Republican governors with Democratic ones included Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico and Nevada.
Residents of both Georgia and Florida remain uncertain who their governor will be. Republican Brian Kemp leads Stacey Abrams by a couple percentage points. In most states he’d be a clear winner, but Georgia requires a run-off if none of the candidates gets over 50 percent–this was a three-way race, and, again, counting of the thousands of provisional and mail-in ballots continues.
Republican Ron DeSantis is less than 0.5% ahead in Florida. A recount will probably be required.
Democracy requires that we trust in the voters. Some times that is easier than others, but there isn’t any good alternative.