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5 Rays of Hope From 2018 Midterm Election Results

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If you were expecting a massive progressive wave on Tuesday night, you were probably disappointed. Yes, the Democrats took back the House, but they lost ground in the Senate and lost the Florida Gubernatorial race and the Texas Senate race, two races we all had our eyes on for months. However, these 5 pointers from the 2018 Midterm Election results give us much needed rays of hope in these divisive times.

1. Amendment 4 passed in Florida, approving a constitutional amendment that automatically restores ex-felons’ right to vote, with the exception of those convicted of murder and sexual offenses. This impacts 1.5 million Floridans. Currently, former felons must wait at least 5 years after completing their sentences to ask the Florida Clemency Board, made up by the governor and the Cabinet, to restore their rates. And most get denied. Progressive organizations fought to pass this Amendment and are celebrating tonight.

2. Ilhan Omar becomes the first Somali American elected to congress! She will be representing Minnesota’s 5th District. “I stand here before you tonight as your congresswoman-elect with many first behind my name.The first woman of color to represent our state in Congress, the first woman to wear a hijab, the first refugee ever elected to Congress and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress,” said Omar in her victory speech.

3. Georgia’s Gubernatorial race results are very close! We all had our favorite #BlackGirlMagic memes ready to go for a Stacy Abrams win, but the race is deemed still too close to call. Honestly, it does not look good for Abrams. HOWEVER, the bright light in this story is that a progressive black woman has come so close to becoming governor in, of all states, Georgia. That shows the power of the black vote, the power of the progressive vote (even in the South), and the power of our operation when we throw our full weight behind a cause or a candidate. 

4. All the firsts! The first Native American women were elected to Congress. First openly gay candidate elected as Governor in Colorado. And for the first time in history, more than 100 women will now be in the House in 2019, including Ayanna Pressley, the first black woman to represent Massachusetts. 

5. Health care was the #1 issue for voters, according to exit polls. Forty one percent of those polled said healthcare is the issue that drives their vote while 23% pointed to immigration. That is great news because, for all the fear mongering that the President has been broadcasting, fear of “criminal immigrants” did not motivate the majority of voters.