On Nov. 7th, the political website FiveThirtyEight gave out it’s final forecast for the 2022 midterms the following evening.
The forecast: Republicans had an 84% chance of taking the House of Representatives while having a 55% chance of taking the Senate. It seemed as if the so-called “red wave” was imminent.
Well…. that didn’t really materialize until 2 a.m.
As of 2am Eastern Time, the Republicans have won 188 seats in the House of Representative compared to the 159 that have been won by the Democrats. Republicans have a net gain of one seat, which is short of the five seats that they need to gain control of the House which requires 218 seats. 81 seats are undecided at the moment. Voting continued on Wednesday and Thursday.
Democrats surprised most of the pundits, pros, and polls by holding on to vulnerable Democratic seats and flipping Republican districts that they weren’t expected to win.
Democrats have gained several seats, while Republicans have lost a few seats that were seen as likely victories for them.
On the Senate side, the Democrats have won 48 seats, while the Republicans have 47 seats.
The Democrats picked up a Senate seat in Pennsylvania with John Fetterman, Democrat, the incumbent Lieutenant Governor of Penn., defeating media personality Dr. Mehmet Oz in that closely watched race.
This victory was despite last-minute whispers of Fetterman’s health, which became a concern for voters after he suffered a stroke shortly before the Pennsylvania primary this past May.
Despite having a net gain of one seat, it’s unlikely that the Democrats will get the 52 seats that they need in order to get rid of the filibuster, which requires 60 senators for any legislation to pass. This is what’s made passing legislation in Congress nearly impossible, regardless of who’s in power.
This election was also the debut of the brand-new ExpressVote machines here in Shelby County, replacing the old ones that had been used for decades.
The ExpressVote machine by Election Systems & Software (ESS) is similar to the touchscreen voting method. The difference, however, is after you make your selections on the touchscreen, the machine will print out a paper that list all of your selections. Then, you will take your paper to an optical scanner, where you’ll feed the paper into the scanner and your vote will be counted.
As a result, the vote count in Shelby County, and Tennessee as a whole, was all but over shortly before midnight.
In the governor’s race, Gov. Bill Lee easily won his re-election bid, defeating Democratic physician Jason Martin with 65.3% of the vote to 32.6% for Martin.
In Nashville, history was made as former Maury County mayor Andy Ogles becomes the first Republican congressman to represent Nashville in Congress in nearly 150 years.
Reps. David Kustoff & Steve Cohen both won their respective re-election bids easily.
Concerning the four statewide amendments that were on the ballot this year, all four of them passed by overwhelming margins.
One of those amendments was Amendment 1, or the right-to-work amendment, which would enshrine the current right-to-work law in Tennessee into the state’s constitution.
With 2/3rd of the vote reporting, Amendment 1 has been projected to pass with 69.7% of the vote at the last update at around 1:45am Central Time, with every county in the state voting in favor of the amendment.
Justin Owen, who’s an executive member for the Yes on 1 Committee, sent out a press release to the media.
“Tonight, is a great night for Tennessee employees and employers, and for continued economic growth in our state,” Owen said. “With the successful passage of Amendment 1, the voters have firmly secured Tennessee’s right-to-work law in our state constitution to guarantee all Tennessee workers the freedom to decide for themselves whether or not to join a union in their workplace.”
Owen also went on to state some of the positives of Tennessee being a right-to-work state & what this amendment means for the state.
“Right-to-work states like Tennessee have higher real income and employment growth than non-right-to-work states, and this vote once again ensures Tennessee will continue to be among the top states in the nation to live, work, and run a business. We thank the voters of this state for standing up for this Tennessee tradition by enshrining it in our constitution,” Owen concluded.
The Tennessee for All committee, which was the main committee that was against the amendment, didn’t respond to our request for a statement.
Despite all this, it seems that even if the Republicans gain control of the House over the coming days, the predicted “red wave” was instead replaced by a stunning overperformance by the Democrats.