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Sizing Up the 2018 Blue Wave Politics
The Democrats scored a major victory last Tuesday, managing to flip roughly three dozen seats and regain control of the House. But just how big was this “blue wave”? Overall, the average district nationwide moved 10 percentage points left this year, including most of the districts that Republicans eventually won. Still, it wasn’t nearly the size of the 2010 Republican wave that followed Obama’s first two years in office.
Across demographic groups, voters tended to move left in the 2018 midterms. But certain groups shifted more noticeably than others — black men, white women, young voters, and middle-income Americans all broke hard for Democrats this year relative to 2016. This NYT piece provides the historical context necessary to put these shifts in perspective.
Americans in four, deeply red states voted on ballot initiatives to expand Medicaid on Tuesday, a right given to states under the Affordable Care Act. And in three of them — Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah — they passed, meaning that 168,000 people could be newly eligible for Medicaid benefits. The results present an interesting minefield for Republicans, who must figure out how to appease constituents who clearly don’t want to do away with some of the ACA’s benefits.
In politics, money typically equals power. And on the whole, that cliché proved wise in the 2018 midterms, as nearly 88% of congressional candidates who outspent their opponents ended up winning. However, there were a few notable exceptions like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ted Cruz, both of whom were outspent basically 2:1.
In non-midterm related news, The Pudding just dropped their latest project on the winningest sports towns in America. For the analysis, Sam Vickars goes back nearly 150 years to see which cities won a disproportionate amount of team titles across professional and college sports. Some major metros fare well, but the cities at the top may surprise you (at least according to one measure).