2018 Midterm Elections: One for the Books


2018 Midterm results for the United States Senate. Photo courtesy of CNN.

Voters across New Jersey went to the polls on Nov. 1 to elect their congressional representatives in the 2018 Midterm Elections. In this election, voters not only elected seats in the US Senate and House of Representatives, but also weighed in on their local mayors, council members, and Board of Education members.

Locally, Kinnelon’s elections went as predicted. Rep. James Freda won the position of Mayor and other red party candidates won the town council seats. In a close election, Michael Petrucelli won his spot on Board of Education

On the state level, Kinnelon’s congressional district featured a tight race between Dem. Mikie Sherrill and Rep. Jay Webber. Although Kinnelon residents largely voted for Weber, Sherrill won the race overall, successfully becoming the first Democratic representative in this district in over 30 years.

The long-anticipated “blue wave” arrived almost as predicted, and the Democrats gained over 30 seats in the House to win a majority. In New Jersey alone, four historically Republican districts flipped, and now all but one of New Jersey’s representatives in the House are Democrats.

The New Jersey Senate race pitted Dem. Bob Menendez against Rep. Bob Hugin. Kinnelon residents voted in majority for Hugin, but Menendez won the entire state, allowing him to serve another six-year term in the US Senate. Overall, the Republicans maintained a tight hold on the majority of the Senate, despite the seat changes in the House.

Even without the close races, the 2018 Midterm Elections proved to be historically important. In Morris County alone, voter turnout was greater this past November than in any other midterm election in the past 20 years. Nationwide, according to National Public Radio, midterm voter turnout hit a 50-year high with 47 percent of citizens eligible to vote actually coming to the polls. This may seem small, but in the 2014 midterm elections, voter turnout was about only about 37 percent.

Moreover, the 2018 Midterm Elections saw a surge of diversity in Congress with some winners making history. Over 100 women were elected to Congress this year, setting a record high. Most notably, New York sent the youngest woman ever to the US House of Representatives. Two women became the first ever Native American Congresswomen and two others became the first-ever Muslim Congresswomen. The LGBT community had the most candidates in the midterms throughout history and Colorado elected the first openly gay man as the governor of a US state.

In an election that in many ways reveals American sentiment towards politics, the results were decidedly split. While the Democrats gained control of the House, the Republicans maintained a majority in the Senate. Donald Trump tweeted that the midterm elections were a “Big Victory,” but a Democratic House may prove to be problematic for him in the future.