What you need to know about last night's historic US midterm elections

Nov 7 2018, 1:58 pm

It was a historical midterm election south of the border on Tuesday, as Americans elected one of the most diverse groups of politicians in its history.

And if you’re still wondering why this matters to Canadians, you haven’t been paying close enough attention to the recent relationship turns we’ve taken with our neighbours to the south. From the contentious creation of USMCA, to the impacts of Trump’s tariff game, the decisions made by the US government can have profound and lasting effects in Canada.

The Breakdown

The 2018 midterm election brought in new governors, senators, and representatives, with the Democrats winning control of the House. Democrats needed to gain 23 seats to win control of the House. According to The Washington Post, they gained 26 seats on Tuesday night.

But while the Democrats gained the House, the Republicans held onto the Senate with a majority. The Senate race was most competitive in the US’ rural states, and Republicans ended up winning Democratic seats in Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri.

Despite the Republican Senate, many of the newly elected candidates in the US broke historical barriers, becoming the first person of their gender, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation to be elected into their positions. These include:

  • Ayanna Pressley: Massachusetts’ first Black woman in Congress
  • Marsha Blackburn: First woman elected to the Senate from Tennessee
  • Jared Polis: The first openly gay man elected governor
  • Jahana Hayes: Connecticut’s first black woman in Congress
  • Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids: America’s first Native American women in Congress
  • Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia: Texas’ first Latinas in Congress
  • Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar: America’s first Muslim women in Congress
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: America’s youngest woman ever elected to Congress
  • Kristi L. Noem: First female governor of South Dakota
  • Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer: Iowa’s first women in the US House
  • Janet Mills: First female governor of Maine

Meanwhile, President Trump called last night’s election results a “big victory.”

“Those that worked with me in this incredible Midterm Election, embracing certain policies and principles, did very well. Those that did not, say goodbye,” he tweeted.

Trump also said that “if the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of classified information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game.”

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