While the Republican ‘red wave’ that was supposed to happen last night is appearing to be more of a red ripple, with Republicans set to have a slim majority in the House and the fate of the Senate hanging in the balance, Republicans won the popular vote by a significant margin.
Numbers released this morning indicated that Republicans were leading by a little under six million votes or 6% of the total votes cast in the midterm elections.
The numbers indicate that it was not necessarily Republican ideas that fell short but that Republicans may have misallocated resources in key races, allowing incumbent Democrats to hold on to their seats.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reallocated $9 million that was earmarked for Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters to impeachment voter Lisa Murkowski.
The Arizona Senate race could be won or lost by Masters by an extremely narrow margin as the vast majority of the votes still out are expected to be favorable to Republicans.
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Republicans have won nearly six million more votes nationwide in races for the House of Representatives, but have flipped relatively few seats, suggesting talk of a “red wave” may have anticipated the overall mood of the country but not the final result of the election.
According to the Cook Political Report, as of Thursday morning, November 10, Republicans have won 50,113,534 votes, or 52.3% of the vote, compared to 44,251,768, or 46.2% of the vote. Republicans lead by 6.1%, which is better than their average in “generic congressional ballot” polls, in which the party led by 2.5% in the final RealClearPolitics average before the election. But Republicans have only managed to flip nine seats thus far — likely enough to control the House, but far short of a “wave” result many anticipated.
The mismatch between overall votes cast for Republicans and the actual result reflects the polarized nature of congressional maps. It also reflects the fact that Republican losses against many Democratic incumbents were very narrow.