Much attention has been focused on the GOP’s successful effort to retain control of the Senate, not so much on the races in the House, where Democrats had hoped to widen their majority. It didn’t happen; in fact, Republicans netted five new seats, and counting, with several races unresolved. Politico headlines: “‘Dumpster fire’: House Democrats trade blame after Tuesday’s damage.”
House Democrats are asking themselves one question after Tuesday’s election stunner: What the hell happened?
In the House, bleary-eyed Democrats were still sorting out the wreckage when they awoke Wednesday with dozens of their members’ races still uncalled and not a single GOP incumbent ousted — an outcome that virtually no one in the party had predicted in a year in which Democrats were going on the offense deep in Trump country.
Just 24 hours earlier, Democrats including Bustos and Speaker Nancy Pelosi were boasting about the opportunity to expand their majority, with some even predicting they could win as many as a dozen seats in the House by clawing back GOP territory in the suburbs of Texas, Ohio and Illinois.
But by Wednesday morning, party officials and the rank and file were in panic mode as they awaited the results of nearly 20 members of the Democrats’ historic freshman class that handed the party control of the House just two years ago. And already they were saying goodbye to at least a half-dozen of their centrist Democratic colleagues, who were stunned by GOP challengers on Tuesday, including Abby Finkenauer in Iowa and Donna Shalala in Florida.
House Democrats … had not ousted a single GOP incumbent or won a single open-seat contest as of Wednesday morning. Instead, they suffered a string of demoralizing losses.
So far Democrats have lost six incumbents. And more could be coming. Many of their other members trail challengers in races too close to call.
A red wave? A ripple anyway, and an important one given the current political balance of forces.