In the run-up to last week’s 2018 mid-terms, we were bombarded with a lot of breathless pronouncement that the balloting on Nov. 6 would be one of the most important elections in U.S. history. On first blush, that seems to have been overstating things — by a wide margin.
Yes, the Democrats won enough seats to regain a controlling majority in the U.S. House. So, they are planning to open — or re-open — all manner of investigations regarding the alleged Trump campaign-Russia collusion in 2016 and Trump’s income tax fraud. They likely will block any additional tax rate cuts President Donald Trump has.
By historic standards dating to the election of 1826, however, the Democrats’ success in the 2018 U.S. House races wasn’t a major blow-out. For example, the Democrats hoped a rising blue tide and Chris Hunter, a former FBI agent and federal prosecutor, would be able to break the hold the Republicans have had on the U.S. House seat representing the Suncoast for decades, including by someone named Bilirakis since 1983. Gus Bilirakis, however, was re-elected to the District 12 House seat with nearly 60 percent of the vote.
Statewide, there were ominous rumblings of a Democrat “blue wave” about to hit Florida. Pre-election polls suggested Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum would be elected governor over Republican Ron DeSantis. Longtime U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson seemed poised to stave off the re-election challenge from the state’s two-term Republican governor, Rick Scott. As this is written, both races were headed for a recount, with the Republicans marginally ahead.
As for the Suncoast political color pallet, it appears Hillsborough County is increasingly blue, Pinellas remains decidedly purple and Pasco is staying ruby red.