When it comes to mid-term elections, it’s been the norm that the President’s party almost always loses congressional seats. This year was no exception.
As of this writing, Democrats have gained at least 35 seats in the House of Representatives, with seven races still to be decided. This gives House Democrats 230 seats so far and majority control in the upcoming 116th Congress.
In the Senate, the Republicans gained one seat so far, which gives them a 51-47 majority so far with two seats (Florida and Mississippi) still to be decided. In addition, Democrats won seven governorships in Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico and Wisconsin (Florida remains to be decided).
Due to the demographics in the House and Senate races, it seemed like two separate elections leading up till Nov. 6. In the House, Democrats focused on suburban and exurban districts, including those won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. This strategy paid off and they can point to their largest pick-up of House seats since the mid-term elections following President Nixon’s resignation.
In the Senate, Republicans focused on the Democrats who represented states won by President Trump in 2016. The President visited many of these states, often, repeatedly, and the results were telling. Republicans won three of those states (Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota) with Florida yet to be determined.
Democratic control in the House gives them the speaker’s gavel as well as control of all House committees. This in turn allows them oversight of the Trump Administration. So subpoenas and oversight hearings are likely.
The split in power in Congress will likely not lead to many new initiatives reaching the President’s desk. However, the government still needs to be funded, so appropriations legislation will be necessary. That will provide opportunities to fund policy initiatives important to golf, including those impacting water and labor. There will be many new members of Congress and staff who will need to be educated about the role that golf plays in their states and congressional districts. Golf advocacy continues.