Thoughts on the election results:
Late counting is still under way in the American mid-term elections, but by now we know fairly clearly how things have panned out: there was not a massive red wave for the Republicans as many expected, but there were some gains nonetheless. At this point it seems that Republicans may control both the House of Representatives and the Senate. And they will continue to hold a majority of governorships.
All 435 seats in the House of Reps and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate were contested, as were 36 of 50 state governor races. I will provide the details of these races in a moment. Midterms are usually won by the party not in the White House. This was more or less the case on Tuesday. It was not a rout for either party, but some notable victories occurred.
Economic issues was a key concern for American voters, with inflation running amok under Biden and the Democrats. That includes things like rising energy costs, rising gas prices, and rising food prices. Escalating crime rates was another issue, as was ongoing concerns about border security.
Democrats kowtowing to the Black Lives Matter folks – and their rioting, especially in 2020 – was also of concern to many voters. The various leftist agenda items of the Dems did not resonate with ordinary Americans. They were concerned about much more practical things, such as their family, security and other bread and butter issues. So some of the Democrats who did win were those who were much more moderate than some of their more radical colleagues.
House of Representatives
All 435 seats were up for grabs. It had been 220 Democrats, 212 Republicans, and 3 vacant seats. It seems that it may end up being 219 Republicans, thus just barely taking control of the House.
A few highlights can be mentioned. Longtime Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan was defeated by JD Vance in Ohio. Also of real interest, it seems that 8 of the 10 Republicans who earlier on voted to impeach Trump lost their seats! That seems rather telling.
And if the Republicans do indeed win the House, they will take control of various investigative committees, including ongoing ones like the focus on the January 6 Capitol building episode. So instead of Dems calling the shots here, Republicans will, even with just a slight majority. In that sense it does not really matter that they did not get the big majority win they were hoping for.
Of the 100 Senatorial seats, 35 were up for grabs. It had been 48 Democrats, 50 Republicans, and 2 Independents. At this point it looks to still be a Republican majority with perhaps 51 seats.
Highlights include: Florida Senator Marco Rubio handily got back in. His Democrat opponent Val Demings had raised massive dollars in campaign funds, but still lost big time. Georgia is a key state for the Senate and at last look we had around a 49% to 49% result in the Raphael Warnock/Herschel Walker race, so that will almost certainly go into a run-off election.
Another key Senate race state is Pennsylvania where it looks like the Democrats are managing to hang on fairly well, despite hopes of the Republicans making some gains there. The key race there between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz seems to be a win for the Dems.
In the gubernatorial races, 36 of 50 state governor races also were decided. It had been 21 Democrats, 28 Republicans, and 1 Independent. It looks like it may be similar sorts of numbers when the counting is finalised.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was easily reelected, with even Democrat strongholds like Miami moving red. The champion freedom fighter won easily by almost 20 points. “The people have delivered their verdict: ‘Freedom is here to stay’,” he said during his victory speech.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders won the Arkansas race. Arizona is a close race, with electronic voting machines failing, but Republican Kari Lake may still be in with a chance of victory. Democrat Beto O’Rourke lost again, this time to incumbent Greg Abbott in Texas, who secured his third term. Republican incumbent Brian Kemp has won over Stacey Abrams in Georgia.
Republican Kristi Noem retains her hold on government in South Dakota. And unfortunately it seems that in Michigan the Democrat incumbent Gretchen Whitmer will remain as the governor there. So it was a mixed bag here.
All up, it was not a big red wave that some had thought or hoped for, but the Republicans managed to hold on as well as make some small bits of progress. And bear in mind that in some of these elections a run-off will be needed, so final numbers will not be known for some time to come.
Post-election discussions will continue for a while. Democrats will think they managed to escape a major turn against them. Indeed, they will be wiping their collective brows thinking they can keep pushing their radical agendas. And Republican strategists will be asking why, given how so very unpopular Biden is, and how bad things like the economy are, the Republicans did not do so much better.
One thing can be said with certainty. The biggest winner was Florida, and folks like Rubio and DeSantis did very well indeed. The governor especially said and did all the right things, and the people rewarded him for this. Here are parts of his moving victory speech:
Over these past four years we’ve seen major challenges for the people of our state, for the citizens of the United States, and above all for the cause of freedom. We saw freedom, and our very way of life, and so many other jurisdictions in this country wither on the vine. Florida held the line.
We stood as a citadel of freedom for the people across this country and indeed, across the world.
Now thanks to the overwhelming support of the people of Florida, we not only won the election, we have rewritten the political map. Thank you for honoring us with a win for the ages.
We have embraced freedom. We have maintained law and order. We have protected the rights of parents. We have respected our taxpayers, and we reject woke ideology. We fight the woke in the legislature. We fight the woke in the schools. We fight the woke in the corporations. We will never ever surrender to the woke mob. Florida is where woke goes to die. I have only begun to fight.
Now while our country flounders due to failed leadership in Washington, Florida is on the right track.
You can see his entire speech here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sP7C15Vz4s
Given that he seemed to be the star performer for the Republicans, Donald Trump might be wise to lay off tossing barbs at him, as he has done recently. The truth is, if DeSantis were to run for the White House in 2024, he may well be as popular as Trump for conservative Republicans.
Anyone who has read my previous election articles knows that as a Christian I understand a few basic truths: politics is not everything, politics cannot save, and politicians are not the messiah. But some political outcomes are clearly better than others.
We know that righteousness exalts a nation, and we know that wickedness in high places will bring on the judgement of God. So when some good people are elected to office, that is a good thing. But it of course does not bring in the Kingdom. It will not bring heaven to earth.
So we need to be realistic here. One can rightly argue that America is under the judgement of God, as would be much of the West. Minor political changes will not offset that. A mighty move of repentance and revival is about the only thing that will.
We should be under no illusion therefore that a win like this – and it was a rather subdued win – is not going to spare us what we likely have coming from the Almighty. Make no mistake, I am certainly glad things did not go in the other direction. More wins for more Dems would just have made things even worse.
So we continue to work for good government, and we continue to pray. Here in Victoria we have an important election coming up in less than three weeks. So we must do what we can to educate the electorate, and seek to support good candidates and/or parties, and so on. But all this must be backed up with plenty of prayer.
Moral of the story: politics matters, but politics is not all there is. Political realities must be seen in the light of spiritual realities. And almost always, when we have poor or bad political outcomes that is because our spiritual condition is poor or bad as well. Ignoring the latter will not help us improve the former.