It was being forecast as a nailbiter for Republicans, a possible Alabam redux where an easily winnable seat for the GOP could quite possibly be eaten by Democrats with a wave of enthusiasm. In the end, it wasn’t very close, and Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith cruised to a 7 point victory over Democrat Mike Espy. Hyde-Smith enjoyed the backing of President Trump as well as their entire GOP establishment going all-in on her campaign, despite the racially-charged fumble she made earlier this month.

Results from the New York Times:

Candidate Party Votes Pct.
Cindy Hyde-Smith* Republican 474,471 53.9%
Mike Espy Democrat 405,486 46.1

879,957 votes, 99% reporting (1,781 of 1,797 precincts)

* Incumbent

CNN reports on the GOP victory and what it means for Senate control:

Hyde-Smith will defeat Democratic challenger Mike Espy, a former congressman and agriculture secretary, in the last Senate race to be decided in 2018. The victory will make her the first woman ever elected to Congress from Mississippi.

Her win on Tuesday means Republicans will hold 53 seats to Democrats’ 47 seats in the Senate in January. The GOP grew its majority in the Senate by two seats in this year’s midterm elections even as Democrats took control of the House.

Hyde-Smith’s victory also means that there will be 24 women in the Senate next year. That will set a new record for women serving in the Senate, one more than the current high, set during this Congress.

Hyde-Smith will finish out the final two years of former Sen. Thad Cochran’s term, who retired earlier this year due to health concerns. Hyde-Smith will have to run again in 2020 to serve a full six-year term.

Republicans desperately needed this win to provide a cushion for judicial appointments and executive cabinet nominations in the coming months. Without adding to the GOP majority, moderate Senators like Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski would have had tremendous influence over the process.

Midterm Wrap-up

This election officially closes the 2018 midterms and it’s worth noting that Democrats made out big in the House as races in California and elsewhere finally finished their tallies giving them a pickup of 39 seats overall. As NBC News reports, the victory on Election Night was tempered by the fact that so many races would take days to decide:

Democrats made a net gain of 39 House seats in this year’s midterm elections, NBC News has concluded, after Democrat Ben McAdams defeated GOP Rep. Mia Love in Utah’s 4th Congressional District.

That race was NBC News’ lone remaining uncalled contest.

The gains that propelled Democrats to retake the majority in the House come on the back of the largest margin of victory, in terms of total votes, that either party has seen in a midterm election. Democrats held the prior record for vote margin, which came in 1974 with the backdrop of the Watergate scandal.

Those numbers are nothing to sneeze at for the GOP and clearly indicate that the Presidential battle in 2020 will be fought in some new districts compared to the battle between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in 2016. If Democrats end up retaining Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in 2020, Trump would have a hard time recapturing his electoral college magic in 2 years.

However, we have yet to see what unfolds between now and then, and the new Congress won’t be seated until late January. Democrats will begin announcing their 2020 candidacies within the next 90 days which will immediately start driving the next presidential election cycle sooner than you think.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Note: The National Popular Vote bill is 64% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

    It simply requires enacting states with 270 electoral votes to award them according to the nationwide, rather than the statewide, popular vote.

    All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.

      • The bill was approved in 2016 by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
        Since 2006, the bill has passed 36 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, Democratic, Republican and purple states with 261 electoral votes, including one house in Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), North Carolina (15), and Oklahoma (7), and both houses in Colorado (9), and New Mexico (5).
        The bill has been enacted by 12 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 172 electoral votes – 64% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate with the most national popular votes.

        When enacted by states with 270 electors, the bill would change their state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes, to guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate with the most national popular votes.

    • The real problem with the Electoral College is not winner-take-all. It’s that it’s biased toward the “empty states.”

      California has a population of 39 million and they have 55 Electoral votes.

      On the other side of the scale, we have Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, Montana, Maine, Hawaii, Idaho, New Hampshire, Nebraska, and New Mexico.

      Together, those states have only 16 million people, but 54 Electoral votes. Much more than twice as much Electoral power per person. It makes a mockery of the concept of “one person, one vote.”

      • The National Popular Vote bill would result in “one person, one vote” guaranteeing an Electoral College win for the candidate with the most national popular votes.

  2. GOP 6 Dems 2. Senate has 6 years and the people gave the Dems 2 years. So Dems you’ll be fired in 2 years if you don’t work with Trump.

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