Was last Tuesday a wave? Yep, and a pretty good day to be a Democrat
Ah, traditional media. In a story talking about all the new victories that Democrats have racked up since vote counting began last Tuesday night, the AP's Steve Peoples leads with the sentence «No, it wasn't a blue wave.»
He goes on to say «Democrats have steadily chalked up victories across the country, firming up their grip on the U.S. House and statehouses,» and that the «slow roll of wins has given the party plenty to celebrate.» And he notes Democrats have «picked up at least 32 seats in the House—and lead in four more—in addition to flipping seven governorships and eight state legislative chambers.» So what he needs to call it a wave is unclear. Like maybe the most House seats picked up by Democrats since Watergate, with races still being called? Oh, and don’t forget three Republican states—Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah—wholly embracing Medicaid expansion on their ballots.
Beyond the fact of which party has emerged victorious, look at who has won. That would include «Massachusetts' first African-American female member of Congress, Ayanna Presley, and Michigan's Rashida Talib and Minnesota's Ilhan Omar, the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, along with Kansas' Sharice Davids, the first lesbian Native American» to go to Congress. As MoveOn's Ben Wikler tells Peoples, it's a «a genuine wave of diverse, progressive and inspiring Democrats winning office.» Yeah, and then there's the part about how «Democrats have not lost a single House incumbent so far.» Or the fact that Democrats won the popular vote for the Senate by about 12 percent. But we can't call it a wave?
It was a wave and a realignment, with voters in the Southwest and college-degree holders and women (even the white ones) increasingly turning Democratic. The latest flip is the Arizona Senate race, called Monday night for Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. Add to that Rep. Jacky Rosen's defeat of incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller in and you've got a Nevada that really isn't even tinged purple anymore and Arizona dipping its toe into the blue in a pretty big way. Even Rep. Beto O'Rourke made a statewide race in Texas a close call.
There's still a deplorable Senate majority and still the orange behemoth in the White House, so we can't rest on the laurels of a landslide House victory, not for a second. But Tuesday also has to be recognized for what it is—a wave of repudiation of Trump and the Republicans.