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November 07, 2018

Midterm Gains & Election Highlights

Democrats saw a number of critical wins in the 2018 midterm elections, the most notable of which were in Congress, where Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives.

"Winning the House is huge," said Julia Bryan, International Chair of Democrats Abroad. "We have protected vital social legislation and will be able to push back against the anti-democratic direction of Trump and his cronies. Our victories tonight put the Republicans on notice that voters will not let them get away with robbing middle class America."

The Democratic Party also "flipped" seven state legislative chambers and seven Governorships, including Tony Evers ousting Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Laura Kelly defeating Kris Kobach in Kansas. Jared Polis of Colorado has become the country's first openly gay man elected governor, and Leon Guerrero was elected Guam’s first female governor.

Women and minorities drove victories for Democrats across the country. Of the 29 House seats gained by Democrats, 20 are women, including the first ever Muslim women (Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar) and the first ever Native American women (Sharice Davids and Debra Haaland) elected to serve in the House. As a result, there will be more women in the 116th Congress than ever before. 

The Senate map was tough and a steep uphill battle, but races in Arizona and Florida are still too close to call; Mike Espy advances to a runoff in Mississippi; and most importantly, Jackie Rosen won Nevada for the Democrats.

Voters also passed progressive ballot initiatives, including expanding overall voting rights in Michigan and Maryland, and in Florida, voters passed Amendment 4, which will restore voting rights for more Americans than any measure since the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

These victories were driven in part by ballots from Americans overseas, who turned out by the thousands to have their votes counted in state and congressional race across the country. Democrats Abroad mobilizes volunteers around the world to support overseas voter outreach, education and participation.

"Our volunteers have done a remarkable job this year," notes Bryan. "We made over 150,000 calls to members, and registered tens of thousands of new voters through online outreach and in person voter registration drives. The work paid off: voter engagement has increased 800% since the last midterms in 2014, and we know that votes from abroad will made a big impact in races across the country."

Americans abroad have been the margin of victory in key races of previous years, including Sen Maggie Hassan's 2016 race in New Hampshire and Roy Cooper's race for Governor of North Carolina that same year.

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