Election Reflection


This is a summary of the senate races from Election night. Courtesy of economist.com

Jace Jenican, Opinions Editor

Tuesday November 4th was the midterm elections. The big takeaway is: it was a wave election. Now, what is a wave election? It really doesn’t have any set definition, but it is used to refer to an election cycle when one political party makes large gains in both the House of Representatives and the Senate and also performs well in the gubernatorial races. This was definitely true Tuesday night for the Republicans.


As a result of the midterm elections, Republicans will likely have their biggest majority in the House of Representatives since 1928. Currently, the Republicans have a net gain of 12 with 5 seats that are too close to call at this time that have the potential to flip from Democrat to Republican. Congressman Ed Royce (R), who represents Yorba Linda and surrounding cities, was easily reelected, earning 68.94% of the vote. Currently, Royce serves as the chairman of the House committee on Foreign affairs.


On election night, the GOP easily captured the senate from the Democrats by picking up eight seats (NC, WV, AR, IA, SD, CO, MT, AK). One senate race still hasn’t been called: Louisiana. In Louisiana, the election law states that a candidate must reach 50% of the popular vote to be elected and since this didn’t happen, Mary Landrieu (D) and Bill Cassidy (R), as the top two vote-getters, will go into a run-off election on December 6th. Even though Mary Landrieu got the greatest percentage of the popular vote on Tuesday (42.08%), many predict that Bill Cassidy (40.96%) will end up winning the run-off. If Republicans win Louisiana election, they will net +9 and the balance of power in the senate will be 54-46. Probably the biggest surprise out of the senate elections from Tuesday night was the Virginia senate race. The Real Clear Politics average had Democrat Mark Warner up by about 10% going into the election, but the race ended up being a lot closer than anyone ever imagined. Republican Ed Gillespie actually closed the gap to less than one percent. Technically, the gap was so small that under Virginia law Gillespie could’ve called for a recount; however he conceded his loss on Friday after it had become clear he probably wouldn’t win a recount. This year there were no senate elections in California.


The Governors’ mansions were a place where Democrats thought they could make gains, however, that didn’t pan out for them. Only one Republican incumbent lost: Pennsylvania governor, Tom Corbett. This year, Republicans have actually had a net gain of governorships. It is still undetermined how many at this point because one race still hasn’t been called: Alaska. In Alaska, Independent Bill Walker is currently leading Republican Sean Parnell by about 3,000 votes, but the situation with the governor’s race is a lot like the situation with the Senate race, neither candidate wants to give up because Alaska is so expansive that waiting until every vote is counted could turn out in their favor. If the Independent wins, then republicans will have a net gain of 2, Democrats will have a net loss of 3, and Independents will have a net gain of 1.  This year, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) ran for reelection against Neel Kashkari (R) and cruised to victory, earning almost 60% of the vote.


Here in California, Propositions 1, 2, and 47 were passed and in Yorba Linda Measure JJ was passed. Proposition 1 sets aside $7.12 billion to improve California’s water system. Proposition 2 increases California’s “rainy day” fund from 5% to 10% of the general fund. Proposition 47 changes the classification of many nonviolent drug and property crimes from felony to misdemeanor and reduces jail sentences. Measure JJ will eliminate pensions and healthcare benefits for the city council members of Yorba Linda. Measure JJ was put on the ballot by the city counsel as a symbol of cutting wasteful spending. But many, including senior Thalia Hull, feel that “it is purely political and only for show” and that since it won’t cut much from the city’s budget that “it has no real value.” Despite this, Yorba Linda reelected Tom Lindsay and also elected Peggy Huang to the city counsel.