The 2018 midterms showed that the blue wave is alive and well in Texas. Here is why this is a good thing:
It was a chance to make change, and change we made. I know that many people, especially students, were upset about the outcome of the U.S. Senate race here in Texas. Beto lost by only about 2.6 percent. It left many young people feeling defeated and disappointed, but I hope I can help shed some light on some serious wins for Democrats from this election.
First and foremost, we flipped the House. This was expected, but nevertheless crucial in bringing Democratic voices back into Congress.
Two of those seats came from Texas: Colin Allred in CD-32 and Lizzie Fletcher in CD-7. The rest of the Congressional races in this state were close. Candidates such as Julie Oliver in CD-25, Joseph Kopser CD-21, and Mike Siegel CD-10 came closer than Democrats have come before in a long time. A Democratic House is vital to providing checks and balances in the Trump Administration. It means that Republicans in the Senate and the White House will have to compromise to make laws that more closely reflect American values.
The U.S. House wasn’t the only place we made progress. Democrats flipped 12 state house seats, two state senate seats and 19 seats on the court of appeals. What does this mean for the average Texan? It means a greater focus on education spending and less time on bathroom bills. It means focusing on providing people healthcare instead of trying to take away a woman’s right to choose.
For the first time in a long time, women will have an increased voice in state politics. Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus (R) said Texas and the Republican Party are “moving in opposite directions.” The 2018 election proved this.
What else does this mean for Texas? For starters, Texas is officially a swing state. In 2020, we will be a battleground state right alongside Florida and Ohio. Texas is purple. Beto O’Rourke proved that over 4 million Texans — nearly as many who voted for Donald Trump — are tired of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump’s divisive politics.
Turnout among young Texans increased over 500 percent statewide, proving what we already know — what starts here, changes the world. And while we might have fallen a little short this time, it is clear that single party rule in Texas is about to come to an end. So when all is said and done, we need to make sure that young voters continue to go to the polls because after all, the eyes of Texas are upon us.
Erhardt is a government senior.