After months of talk about a wave, the story of Election 2018 was more of a wash nationally, with Democrats and Republicans each cementing their inherent strengths while failing to expand their reach into the other’s natural base.
Democrats rolled up significant victories in suburban metropolitan areas across the country, dominating cities and capitalizing on an electorate that is becoming younger, more diverse, highly educated and female. The formula delivered them control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
At the same time, Republicans expanded their dominance in predominantly white, rural, blue-collar America, in places far from the coastal elites, where culture and family ties still weigh heavily in daily life. President Donald Trump has termed this constituency “the forgotten,” but in key statewide races, this hardened, older electorate has proven reliably decisive. These vast enclaves, tucked inside the heart of the country, turned out to enlarge the GOP’s hold on the U.S. Senate.