President Trump’s political credo is never admit a mistake or setback, and on cue Wednesday he called the midterm election results a “tremendous success.” Perhaps he even believes it, but he shouldn’t. The results weren’t the “blue wave” of media and Democratic desire, but they
Democrats won the House for the first time in eight years, meaning that the possibilities for conservative policy reform are dead for the next two years. The siege of investigations will begin, and anti-growth mistakes are all too possible (see below).
The Senate gains are consolation, especially because they show Democrats paid a considerable price for their mugging of Brett Kavanaugh. This will make it easier to confirm judicial and political nominees and will give the GOP some leverage in spending fights. But except for Florida and still undecided Arizona, the Senate gains came in Trump-friendly states. GOP Senate candidates were wiped out across the upper Midwest, Northeast and Nevada.
Democrats also made substantial gains in the states, notably those that were crucial to Donald Trump’s 2016 victory. They picked up seven governorships, including Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas and Nevada. A decade of GOP reform on taxes, school choice and public unions is in jeopardy. GOP victories in Florida, Ohio and perhaps Georgia are compensations, but Democrats in those states also nominated candidates too far to the left.