If you’re a political nerd like me, then you are still trying to comprehend what happened during Tuesday’s midterm election. While most elections were called earlier than night than most political analysis has predicted, I was still up late as there were so many fascinating results to obsess over.

Democrats now have control of the House of Representatives and Republicans have gained seats in the Senate, meaning Congress now reflects the state of the nation — a house divided. But the good news is that one-party rule is over.

Many governor’s races, which were thought to be competitive, including the one in Ohio, were won by Republicans. However, in Georgia the governor’s race remains too close to call, as Democrat Stacy Abrams refuses to concede in a close race with Republican Brian Kemp. On Saturday in Florida, Democrat Andrew Gillum withdrew his concession to Republican Ron DeSantis after Florida’s Secretary of State announced recounts for the gubernatorial and Senate races. .

As a nation, we’ll  spend the next several months trying to decipher this new chapter of Donald Trump’s America. While Democrats did not perform as well as they would have liked in places like Texas and Florida, they have a lot to be excited about moving forward.

A new era of leaders is coming to the House of Representatives, and it is being led by women. More than 100 women won House seats, including Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland, who will become the first Native American women in congress. Ilhar Omar and Rashida Tlaib are set to become the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

A diverse group of leaders is rising to power, and for the first time they actually look like the people they represent. They are black, Hispanic, Asian, LGBTQ+- identifying people, veterans, male and female.

New figures are emerging onto America’s political scene, including  Beto O’Rourke who, despite his loss in Texas, turned heads in the Democratic party. Many people are now pulling for O’Rourke to run for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

Tuesday’s midterms proved that there are still people in this country who care about where it’s heading and want a say in its leadership. Over 113 million people voted last Tuesday, a record for a midterm election.

Knowing that there are millions of people who took time out of their busy schedules to vote gives me so much hope for the future.

Right now, even though many elections remain uncalled, both parties have begun fighting over key issues such as gun control, health care, immigration and the Mueller investigation — all of which will be in the hands of Congress. However, it’s important for us to pause and think about the impact this midterm election will have on our future.

We know we need to demand smart, intelligent and diverse leaders with fresh ideas and we know that if they do not meet our standards, we need vote them out. We know that, moving forward, elections will become narrower and narrower and candidates will have to battle for every last vote.

But most importantly, we know that, moving forward, Americans will not sit out elections. We will participate in our democracy, we will stay informed and we will demand that our voices be heard by those in power.

finfrobd@miamioh.edu

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