Why You Haven’t Heard About the “Red Wave”

Mattox Friedman, Associate Editor

As political commentator Ben Shapiro put it, this midterm election went from “red wave to red wedding” (a reference to the tv show Game of Thrones). In the past 22 midterm elections from 1934 – 2018, the president’s party has averaged a defeat of four Senate seats and 28 House seats. In fact, the president’s party has only managed to retain the House three times and the Senate six times during this same period. With this in mind, it becomes apparent that the Republican Party has grossly underperformed during this election season. 

As it currently stands, Bloomberg reports Republicans will take the House of Representatives, having gained eight seats to secure the minimum 218 seats to achieve a majority. The Democrats currently hold 212 seats, with seven seats still undecided. Furthermore, the Democrats appear poised to retain control of the Senate, having secured the necessary 50 votes. On Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, Georgia will enter a runoff election between Herschel Walker (R) and Raphael Warnock (D), the last Senate seat yet to be called. Vice President Kamala Harris will be the deciding factor if Herschel Walker (R) defeats Raphael Warnock (D).

The results of the race for Democratic Senate control left President Biden to state it’s a “good day for democracy and, I think, a good day for America.” While he and the Democrats are celebrating the results, pollsters and pundits are scratching their heads over how their predictions were so far off. The Times reveals that Generation Z, many of whom voted for the first time during this election, played a big part in damping down the “Red Wave.” President Biden acknowledged this key factor when he highlighted that “millennials and Gen Z” together form “the largest voting bloc in American history — 65 million young people that are eligible to vote in that younger demographic.” In other words, the Democratic party’s ability to appeal to younger voters played a substantial role in this election’s outcome. As people continue to process these unforeseen results, it remains to be seen how this new balance of power will play out in Washington, D.C., over the next two years.