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The US midterm elections roundup

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The biggest splash from the 2018 mid-term elections comes from the Democrats regaining control of The House of Representatives. While the GOP maintained control of the Senate, the fact that the left now holds a majority in one side of the legislative branch seems enough to shake things up.

But what does that actually mean? 

While the blue-wave didn't hit like the tsunami that many expected, its effects are still being noticed nationwide. In regards to policy, their control of the house would allow the democrats to restrict any of President Trump's proposed legislation, whether that's tearing Obamacare apart, presenting tax cuts to the upper and middle classes, or even funding the promised US/Mexico wall.

Further, a majority control of The House of Representatives gives the Democrats the prerogative to open up investigations that could end up in a world of hurt for the Trump investigations. There are almost immediate expectations for them to open inquiries into the President's tax returns, which have been long sought after by voters, as well as re-opening an investigation into Trump's relationships with Russia leading up to the 2016 election. 

Representative Adam Schiff (D), the incoming leader of the House Intelligence Committee, has been outspoken about his disappointment in how the GOP conducted an investigation into relationships between Trump and Russia, and he will be taking the reigns. Schiff has commented on his plans to use a list of 70 people and organizations that Democrats claim the GOP had failed to interview as a possible "roadmap" for the investigation. 

On a similar note, the Democratic led House offers a much needed layer of support for Special Council Robert Mueller's investigation into all things Trump/Russia. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who's expected to be the next Speaker of the House, has already pledged to make sure that Mueller's "documentations are preserved", in the scenario that Trump attempts to stifle the investigation.

The House of Representatives also carries subpoena power, which acts as another crutch to the investigation, allowing Dems to summon witnesses or even Robert Mueller for public hearings. This could prove crucial if Trump decides to fire the special council, allowing him to serve what many believe would be "smoking gun" evidence to American taxpayers, who have largely funded his investigation.

Image credit: The White House

Other notable midterm results...

Although the Democratic left didn't sweep the elections like many hoped they would, many argue that they offer signs of a promising future. 

History was made when Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota won their elections, making them the first two Muslim women to ever hold seats in congress. In her victory speech, Omar further rallied voters, claiming that "here in Minnesota we don't only welcome immigrants, we send them to Washington."

New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, also became the youngest woman ever voted to Congress at 29 years old. A rising star among the left, much of Ocasio-Cortez's success comes due to her putting the people she represents before the party she belongs to.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Image credit: Mark Dillman
Another notable win came from Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado who became the nation's first openly gay Governor. While few will argue that America is more divided than ever before, these victories make a bold statement about the path that the American people want their country to travel. 
Highly contested races...
Beto O'Rourke, who'd made waves nationwide, both with his proposed policies as well as fundraising (collecting a blistering 70 million dollars from personal contributions) was defeated by sitting incumbent and Republican Ted Cruz. While the loss is seen as devastating by many who thought Beto would win the senate seat, the fact that Beto lost by only 3% is seen as a sign for what's to come, considering Cruz won his last midterm election with a 16% differential. 
Beto O'Rourke

Another considerable blow to the democrats was Andrew Gillum's loss to Ron DeSantis for Florida Governor. The gubernatorial race was was as highly contested as it was heated, with the vote being decided by less than 60,000 votes after DeSantis urged Florida constituents not to "monkey up" the election.

Whether you're a US citizen or not, it seems like American politics are a hot-topic and something worth following these days. With the midterm elections both introducing a new generation of representatives as well as shaking up the current power structure, it seems the focal point of international politics may have just turned the page to a new chapter.

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