CHART: Democratic Votes Cast in 2018 Midterm Elections Exceeded 8.8 Million, the Most Since 1974 After Watergate


The Democratic party just broke the record for the largest national lead in raw House votes for either party in the history of midterm elections, according to Dave Wasserman, the U.S. House editor for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

The previous record was 8.7 million votes set by Democrats in 1974, the year former President Richard Nixon after being implicated in the Watergate scandal.

Democrats received 59,226,352 votes in the midterm elections, 53.1 percent of all votes cast. Republicans, by comparison, received 50,380,560 votes, or 45.2 percent of all votes cast.


Democrats have picked up a net total of 38 House seats. Most recently, Ben McAdams, the Democratic mayor of Salt Lake County, defeated Republican Representative Mia Love in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. McAdams beat Love by fewer than 700 votes, just above the margin required to trigger a recount. Several races remain undecided.

In the wake of the election, media outlets reported that the long prognosticated “blue wave” had not actually happened, a perception Democratic opponents immediately latched onto.

However, the data (available in this DOC from Cook Political Report) indicates that the Democratic influence across the nation resonated with voters, signaling a strong rebuke of President Donald Trump and his administration.

“There were a lot of uncalled races on election night,” wrote Ed Kilgore in New York Magazine‘s analysis. “That occurred partly because many contests were close, but also because of two crosscutting phenomena that combined to slow the count in many places: Democratic-supported proliferation of last-minute voting opportunities, and Republican-supported restrictions that added to the number of unresolved “provisional” ballots.”

Kilgore points out that “California stood out as a megastate that recently decided to allow mail ballots postmarked by Election Day to be counted later, which meant that over a third of the votes were uncounted on election night.”

“The fact that late-counted ballots tended to trend Democratic almost everywhere (even if it wasn’t enough to change the outcome in several key races) made the final map bluer than it looked on election night,” he added.

President Trump, however, claims that Republicans “defied history” in the midterms by maintaining control of the Senate and scoring a “slew” of governorships.

“It was a big day yesterday,” Trump said immediately after Election Day.  “The Republican Party defied history to expand our Senate majority while significantly beating expectations in the House. It was very close to a complete victory.”

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