With all the reaction — replete with blame over who did something wrong during the midterm election — I want to take a moment or two to ponder the positive takeaways one can get from the balloting.
Democrats held off the Republican “red wave” by maintaining control of the Senate and, also importantly, by minimizing the Republican ascent to majority status in the House.
When the ballots are counted, it appears that the GOP will occupy 219 House seats, compared to 216 Democrats serving in the lower chamber. Republicans need 218 to win an outright majority. They got one more than the bare minimum.
Who deserves credit for Democrats’ stronger-than-expected showing? I suppose you can start with the abysmal quality of many GOP candidates. Some of them didn’t deserve to be nominated by their party, let alone elected to public office.
I am struck by the message that voters seemed to deliver, which is that they are weary of the conspiracy nonsense. Voters favored candidates who vowed to govern. They sought out the thoughtful candidates who promised to stop demonizing local election officials, individuals who work hard to ensure and protect the integrity of our electoral process.
The process does work. It’s not perfect. But it works. It did so again in the midterm election.
I won’t seek to assess which politicians benefited from this election. It’s easy, I suppose, to wonder whether the midterm result enhances President Biden’s chances at re-election. I won’t go there. One message, though, seems to have resonated with voters. It is that Joe Biden does not deserve blame for worldwide inflation.
If he were to shoulder that blame, then he should bask in the notion that inflation appears to be lessening. Then again, I won’t assign that credit to him, either. Global economics is far more complicated than many of the MAGA types would have you believe.
The election is over. The task now awaiting Democratic and Republican politicians alike is determining how they intend to govern with such narrow majorities in the Senate and the House. Remember that if Democrats secure 51 seats in the Senate and Republicans finish with 219 seats in the House, neither party has any room for mistakes.
Still, the midterm election ended with democracy having a good day at the polls.