2018 Midterm Results

What you need to know about the outcome of the highly-publicized races that galvanized the country

Max Montana, Managing Editor

    On a night that saw voter turnout easily surpass the 2014 midterms, Florida saw two Republicans, gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and Senate challenger Rick Scott, win statewide elections by thin margins. With 99% of precincts reporting, DeSantis, who collected 4,052,118 votes, defeated Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, who scored 3,996,679 votes, in a race that saw a fiery debate and full endorsements from President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama respectively.

    “Other than serving our nation in uniform, the opportunity to serve as the 46th governor of the great state of Florida is the greatest professional honor of my life,” Governor-Elect DeSantis said after the victory. “Regardless of where you start off in life, if you work hard [and] if you do it for the right reasons, you can succeed in the United States of America.”
Rick Scott, the current two term Republican governor of Florida, defeated incumbent Senator Bill Nelson, who has been serving Florida as a Democratic Senator since 2000, by just over 30,000 votes in an election that saw over 8,000,000 votes casted.

    “We can make change,” Scott said. “We did it over the last eight years in Tallahassee, we can do it in Washington, D.C.”

    With President Trump’s approval rate sitting at 41.8%, according to FiveThirtyEight, a “Blue Wave” was thought to materialize across the country. While the Democrats gained enough seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to hold the majority, with the total seats won still unknown at this time, the Republicans retained the Senate and will most likely gain a few seats. Due to the Democratic victory in the House, President Trump called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to congratulate her party and her on the victory.

    Across the country, Democrats cringed at Ted Cruz (Texas) defeating progressive Democrat Beto O’Rourke to retain his Senate seat, Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley taking incumbent Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill’s seat and Republican Mike Braun winning over incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly in Mike Pence’s home state of Indiana.

    On the other side of the aisle, Republicans watched in dismay as Democrat Tony Evers took the governor’s mansion in Wisconsin as GOP incumbent Governor Scott Walker lost his third term re-election bid, Democrat Steve Sisolak winning the governorship in Nevada and the Senate seat held by Nevada Republican Dean Heller being clinched by Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen.

    In Florida, 11 of the 12 constitutional amendments made available to voters on the ballot were approved as they surpassed the 60% approval threshold. Amendment 3, which gave the power to diminish or revamp funding for casino gambling to the voter, Amendment 4, which gave most felons who have served their sentence voting rights, and Amendment 13, which sets up greyhound racing in the state to dismantle by 2020, are among the amendments passed. Only Amendment 1, which would have allowed some homeowners to save a couple hundred dollars, did not accrue enough votes to pass.

    With Republicans winning the two state-wide elections, the Florida GOP hopes their momentum carries over to the 2020 Presidential Election where 29 electoral votes will be in play for President Trump.