The three-plus years since Donald Trump got here down that escalator and adjusted American politics perpetually have been so melodramatic that everyone anticipated the primary midterm election of the Trump presidency could be equally so.
Seems the melodrama on election evening was mainly that there was no melodrama.
What we may have predicted the evening after the 2016 election seems to be the story of 2018.
Republicans knew on Nov. 9, 2016, that they have been going to have a great nationwide map when it got here to the Senate two years later — and certainly they improved on their place within the higher chamber.
Equally, Democrats had each cause to imagine on that bitter morning that the widespread guidelines governing midterms would safe them the 23 seats essential to take management of the Home of Representatives in 2018 — and it seems they’ve accomplished so.
What didn’t occur on this election was one thing that may make all people go WOW.
Democrats received a number of seats, however couldn’t stage a colossal blowout the best way Republicans did in 2010 after they took 63 seats away from Barack Obama’s celebration and introduced Obama’s presidency to a screeching halt.
Their victory extra intently resembles the one Democrats received in 2006 after they took 30 seats and took the Home — however that 12 months needs to be judged a much bigger and higher one for Dems as a result of additionally they received the Senate.
Right here’s what else didn’t occur. Democrats didn’t win shock governorships in Florida and Georgia, nor did a telegenic middle-aged skateboarder dethrone Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas. The locations Democrats took seats away from Republicans have been precisely those we thought they may take given the district-by-district leads to 2016.
No, all of the melodrama got here within the run-up. Trump’s controversies stimulated document Democratic participation and fundraising. However Democratic rage in opposition to Trump and conservatives extra usually could have stimulated record Republican participation in response.
For instance, there’s now no query that the late hit on Supreme Court docket nominee Brett Kavanaugh — who was focused for his conservatism after which had his character assassinated when that concentrating on didn’t succeed — performed a task in serving to Republicans enhance their majority within the Senate.
The Democrat operating for re-election in a pro-Trump state who voted for Kavanaugh (Joe Manchin of West Virginia) received. The Democrats who voted in opposition to (Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Joe Donnelly of Indiana) misplaced. Republicans stated they noticed a surge of curiosity and enthusiasm in these states after the try and convey Kavanaugh down.
Over the previous week, the query was whether or not the president’s aggressive doubling down on the risks of immigration would harm or assist. Chances are high, although, that it was a wash; it in all probability stimulated the Republican base and made positive these voters turned out but additionally irritated and thereby motivated suburban voters the Democrats wanted to win the Home.
Surprises or no, it is a very consequential election. The Senate outcomes imply Trump will be capable to nominate anybody he needs to the judiciary and the cupboard and get these folks by the method comfortably.
Extra vital, Democrats will management Home committees and dig deep into the Trump cupboard departments and all the pieces they do. Overlook Robert Mueller — that is the place all of the motion (and the press leaking) will probably be. They may subpoena paperwork. They may name folks to testify. They may hound. They may torment. And they’re going to discover dust. Numerous dust.
It’s a brand new second in American politics, beginning now. And we do not know how any of this may play within the subsequent huge election — which will probably be one actually, actually huge election.