November 7, 2018 5:00 am
Updated: November 7, 2018 3:17 pm

The 2018 U.S. midterm elections are over. Here’s what you need to know

WATCH ABOVE: Nancy Pelosi gives victory speech after Democrats win back house

A A

The dust is only just settling on the fierce 2018 U.S. midterm fight.

And if the bright light of morning shows anything, it is that despite retaking the House of Representatives, the Democrats are bruised after an election that was sold to voters as a referendum on President Donald Trump turned out to be exactly that — and the results are clear.

READ MORE: 2018 U.S. midterms: Trump loomed large in most voters’ decisions, survey shows

A lot of Americans really don’t like the president.

But there are still an awful lot of people who think he’s doing a pretty good job.

WATCH: Video coverage of midterm elections

Story continues below

Among those were the voters who on Tuesday night returned control of the Senate to Republicans and along with it, the power to all but ensure the confirmation of any further Supreme Court justices that Trump gets to nominate over the next two years.

Voters in Florida and Texas also upheld their support for Trump, handing defeats to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum and Ted Cruz’s Senate challenger, Beto O’Rourke.

READ MORE: What a Democrat win in the U.S. midterms means for Donald Trump

Heidi Heitkamp, the Democratic senator for North Dakota, also lost out.

She had made headlines last month after refusing to support the Supreme Court nomination of Justice Brett Kavanaguh and lost her seat to Republican Kevin Cramer, who called #MeToo a “movement toward victimization.”

Another significant move was the passage in Alabama of Amendment 2, which will give constitutional rights to fetuses and could set up a Supreme Court fight that will create a precedent to overturn Roe v. Wade and ban abortion.

WATCH BELOW: All the wins and losses of the midterms

But the Democrats also scored some major political victories.

They now control the House of Representatives, giving them sweeping powers to subpoena and investigate allegations of corruption and misconduct by officials in the Trump administration, including the president himself.

READ MORE: Democrats can impeach Trump if they retake the House — but expert warns it’s ‘dangerous’

Already they have vowed to do so, with Elijah Cummings, the Democratic representative expected to become chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, quoted by CNN as saying the party is setting their sights on Trump’s tax returns, which he has refused to disclose.

In addition to their new power to investigate and obstruct Trump, the Democratic win also came with several significant firsts.

More women than ever before had put their names on the ballot this election, with most running for the Democratic Party.

WATCH BELOW: Ilhan Omar becomes first Somali-American elected to Congress

Some of the highlights of the more diverse range of candidates include the victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York’s 14th congressional district, which made her the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress.

READ MORE: In historic first, 2 Muslim women elected to Congress in 2018 U.S. midterms

American voters also elected their first two female Muslim congresswomen.

Rashida Tlaib won Michigan’s 13th district, unopposed.

Ilhan Omar won Minnesota’s fifth district after having run against the Republican candidate.

WATCH BELOW: Jared Polis becomes first openly gay male governor in the U.S.

The midterms also saw the election of the first two Native American congresswomen in the form of Democrats Debra Haaland and Sharice Davids.

Democrat Lauren Underwood also unseated a four-term Republican endorsed by Trump in Illinois’ 14th congressional district.

Underwood, a millennial and registered nurse, becomes one of the youngest Black women in Congress.

Also, New Hampshire voters elected their first openly gay congressman, Democrat Chris Pappas.

WATCH BELOW: Amy Klobuchar says Minnesota voted for ‘substance, not subtweets’

Colorado voters also sent Jared Polis to their governor’s mansion, making him the first openly gay male governor in U.S. history.

Another significant shift came as Floridians voted to pass Amendment 4, which will restore voting rights to former felons and give the franchise back to an estimated 1.4 million offenders finished serving their sentences.

It will not apply to those convicted of murder or sex crimes, and marks the biggest expansion of voting rights since the Voting Rights Act.

Close to 20 per cent of black male voters in the state could not cast ballots in the midterms because of past felony convictions.

That accounts for roughly 400,000 voters who will be eligible to vote in the 2020 presidential campaign in a state that saw the gubernatorial victory go to the Republicans by a little over one per cent.

WATCH BELOW: Bernie Sanders gives victory speech, calls the night a ‘pivotal moment’

As well, high-profile Democrats Bernie Sanders and Tim Kaine, who was the running mate of Hillary Clinton in 2016, held on to their seats.

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney also won a Senate seat in Utah.

Over the coming days, it remains to be seen how the Democrats will use their new control over the House of Representatives.

Along with that victory, they also get chair roles on leading congressional committees.

Those chairmanships, however, are not expected to be decided on until early in the New Year.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error

Comments

Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.