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Weekly Wrap: Election post-mortem

November 8th, 2018

— Looking back over Tuesday’s midterm elections, a few themes emerged.

The urban-rural divide is widening: Several Republican lawmakers in urban and suburban districts lost to Democrats, while a couple of Democrats in rural areas also fell.

It all added up to Democrats breaking the veto-proof majority the GOP held in the House since 2012 – and possibly in the Senate as well.

Voters like checks and balances: Two proposed constitutional amendments to shift some appointment powers from the governor to lawmakers were soundly defeated. Meanwhile, the other four amendments on the ballot, including a voter ID proposal, passed easily.

The checks and balances also is seen in the divided government soon to take hold in Washington, D.C., where the U.S. House flipped to the Democrats while Republicans held on to the majority in the Senate.

Swing voters and gerrymandering played a role in election results: The GOP maintained its 10-3 split in the congressional delegation despite garnering a narrow majority of votes statewide. But some districts drawn to favor Republicans had tight races, and some areas that President Donald Trump carried two years ago voted for Democrats this year.

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