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Reflections on the 2018 Midterms

Reflections on the 2018 Midterms

By: Terje Anderson, Chair, Vermont Democratic Party


2018 was a midterm election year like no other I’ve seen during my time in politics — the energy, engagement, and urgency propelled us to massive grassroots involvement and record  turn out for a midterm. 

Thank you for making that possible.  Thank you for voting, putting up a yard sign, volunteering, donating, and speaking out.  Thank you for everything you did. None of what we do would be possible without you.

We celebrated great victories last night, and also had some heartbreaking defeats.

Here in Vermont, we gained one seat in the State Senate, and at least 10 in the House.  This means our Democratic legislators will be in a stronger position to enact progressive legislation on the issues that matter most, even over a Republican Governor’s veto.  Democrats will be leading the way on raising the minimum wage, paid family leave, clean water, climate change, public education, equality, fairness and opportunity for all.

Vermonters overwhelmingly sent Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch back to Washington, where they join Senator Patrick Leahy in standing up for Vermont values.  All of our current statewide officials easily won well-deserved re-election — Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, Treasurer Beth Pearce, Secretary of State Jim Condos, Auditor of Accounts Doug Hoffer, and Attorney General T.J. Donovan.

Our gubernatorial nominee, Christine Hallquist, was a great candidate, championing a Vermont that works for all of us.  We’re so proud of her and her history-making campaign.

We saw some major victories nationally as well, and there are still millions of votes to be counted around the country. Democrats won a majority in the United States House, where there will finally be oversight and a check on what had previously been one-party rule and a Congress that was a rubber stamp for Trump. Faced with a Senate map that was heavily weighted in favor of the Republicans, we lost some tight races in Trump territory, but proved Democrats can compete even in states like Texas.

We picked up at least 7 governorships, and gained at least 375 legislative seats around the country, strengthening the ability of states to push back against the Trump administration.  

Just as importantly, we saw talented, new, and diverse candidates win across the country, providing a much needed new generation of Democratic leaders and a path forward.

Here at the Vermont Democratic Party, the work doesn’t stop.  We’re already putting together plans for 2019 and 2020 — working with our Democratic legislators and statewide officials to move policy initiatives, putting more effort into organizing in every corner of the state, and gearing up for the critical 2020 election.

We, as they say in sports, left it all on the field this year. Faced with a massive infusion of national Republican dark-money into the state, we poured all of our energy and resources into electing Vermont Democrats.  But our work doesn’t end the day after the election.  We need your help to make sure we can keep moving forward — keeping the bills paid, keeping our small hardworking staff on payroll, and continuing to organize around Vermont.

Again, thank you for everything.

Terje Anderson

Chair, Vermont Democratic Party