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MIDWEST MIDTERMS: A Look at the Region’s Elections

Alexandra Run-on | The PhoenixAlong with the midwest races, close calls and upsets happened around the country.

Illinois:

Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner conceded to J.B. Pritzker less than an hour after polls closed in Illinois.

Pritzker, who obtained nearly 55 percent of the vote, has been an attractive candidate for younger voters by running on a platform of reducing student debt, legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois, protecting immigrants and recognizing gun violence as an epidemic.

Pritzker has promised to increase funding for Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grants by 50 percent. MAP Grants offer low-income students financial aid for certain Illinois colleges and universities, including Loyola. While Rauner was governor, the grants went without funding, leaving the schools to find it themselves.

During Rauner’s tenure as governor, Illinois operated without a budget for more than two years, causing him to draw criticism from both sides of the aisle.

The 2018 midterms saw a surge in voter turnout compared to the 2014 midterm elections. The Illinois State Board of Elections released an unofficial turnout rate of around 55 percent as of around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, compared to less than 20 percent in 2014.

Democrat Sean Casten flipped the state’s 6th Congressional District with a victory over Republican incumbent Peter Roskam. In the 14th district, Democrat Lauren Underwood defeated Republican Randy Hultgren.

HOUSE TALLY: 13 DEM / 5 REP

Minnesota:

Democrat Tim Walz secured his seat as Minnesota governor and will join incumbent Democrat Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar.

Democrats won big in Minnesota, a historically blue state. Along with Smith, Klobuchar and Walz, Democrat Ilhan Omar joined the House of Representatives as one of the first Muslim-American women in Congress, serving the state’s 5th Congressional District.

Smith replaced former Sen.Al Franken, who resigned amid sexual misconduct allegations in December 2017, resulting in a Senate special election.

HOUSE TALLY: 5 DEM / 3 REP

Iowa:

Incumbent Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds succeeded in gaining her second term in Iowa. The race was nearly 50/50, with Reynolds eeking out a victory over Democrat Fred Hubbell with 50.1 percent of the vote.

Two congressional districts flipped to favor the Democrats. Both candidates — Abby Finkenauer in the 1st District and Cindy Axne in the 3rd District — won with around 50 percent of the vote.

HOUSE TALLY: 3 DEM / 1 REP

Missouri:

Republican Josh Hawley triumphed over incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill by around 7 percent. Hawley previously served as Missouri’s Attorney General. His website describes him as a “constitutional conservative” who’s committed to fighting for religious liberty and has taken action against opioid manufacturers and human trafficking.  

HOUSE TALLY: 2 DEM / 6 REP

Indiana:

Indiana Republican Mike Braun defeated incumbent Democrat Joe Donnelly by nearly 10 percent to secure a seat in the U.S. Senate. Indiana’s race for the Senate was one of the tightest races in the country, with Donnelly and Braun neck and neck in the polls leading up to the election.

Braun entered the race as a businessman with desires to reduce the amount of career politicians in U.S. government, according to his website. He’s aligned himself with Trump’s views on immigration reform and has been vocal about preserving gun rights, his website said.

HOUSE TALLY: 2 DEM / 7 REP

Ohio:

Democratic incumbent Sherrod Brown will stay in office after overcoming his Republican opponent Jim Renacci by around six percent. Brown was first elected to U.S. Senate in 2006. Brown wants to make college more affordable for students and has committed to supporting women’s reproductive rights and closing the gender pay gap, among other issues, according to his website.

Republican Mike DeWine will be Ohio’s new governor after winning by a four percent margin over his opponent Richard Cordray.  As former Ohio Attorney General, DeWine has spoken out in favor of healthcare coverage for people with preexisting conditions, according to his website. He’s also taken steps to combat the drug epidemic and has laid out a 12-point plan to continue fighting the issue as governor.

HOUSE TALLY: 4 DEM / 11 REP

Michigan:

Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow was reelected to the U.S. Senate and defeated Republican John James by nearly 10 percent. Democrat Gretchen Whitmer triumphed over Republican Bill Schuette by nearly 11 percent to become the state’s governor.

Stabenow was first elected as a U.S. senator in 2000. Stabenow’s efforts include reducing college debt, increasing quality and accessibility of mental health care and conserving the Great Lakes, her website said.

Some of Whitmer’s focuses include women’s rights — access to reproductive care, maternity care, family leave and equal pay — and a better school system, her website said.

In a historic race for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District seat, Democrat Rashida Tlaib became one of the first two Muslim women elected to U.S. Congress. The other candidate, Democrat Ilhan Omar won Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.

HOUSE TALLY: 7 DEM / 7 REP

Wisconsin:

Wisconsin Republican incumbent Scott Walker fell to Democrat Tony Evers in the state’s governor race in a competition that was neck-in-neck up until the bitter end.

Incumbent Democratic Sen.Tammy Baldwin defeated Republican opponent Leah Vukmir by nearly 10 percent. During her time as senator, Baldwin has been a leader of the government’s response to the opioid crisis, writing reform bills signed into law by President Donald Trump around two weeks ago.

 

HOUSE TALLY: 3 DEM / 5 REP

 

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News Editor

Mary Norkol is a junior journalism and international studies double major and The Phoenix’s news editor. Mary began as a news writer and worked as assistant news editor during the spring of 2018. She specializes in covering Loyola’s university affairs. A Minnesota native, Mary spends an absurd amount of time arguing with her roommates about how to say “bag.”

Assistant News Editor

Jane Miller is a sophomore studying journalism and political science. She is currently an assistant news editor for The Phoenix after a year as a news writer. From Seattle, Washington, Jane enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest on foot, bike and ski.

Assistant News Editor

Mary Chappell is an assistant news editor at The Phoenix and studies journalism at Loyola. Mary grew up in Denver, Colorado, and loves to make music, drink coffee, attend concerts and watch baseball.

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