Last night's election was a triumph for Democrats, who managed to take back the House of Representatives and a majority of the governorships across America. Yes, there was some heartbreak along the way - Andrew Gillum lost the governorship of Florida to an unabashed racist, Duncan Hunter won in California despite indictments, and most disappointingly of all, Ted Cruz will return for a second term in the Senate despite nobody liking him. But on the flip side, Democrats managed to oust some of the absolute worst people there are.
Before they slide into well-deserved irrelevancy, let's take some final shots at some of the most-hated Republicans.
The fifteen-term California representative dubbed "Putin's favorite congressman" has been a scourge of the Banter for some time now. During his final term in Congress, he said Charlottesville was a hoax, brought Holocaust denier Charles Johnson to a Senate meeting with Rand Paul, was duped by Sacha Baron Cohen into endorsing a guns-for-kindergarteners program, and, in a story we were proud to break, engaged in rampant voter intimidation by ignoring his constituents and even calling the cops on one of them. Now he has finally been sent packing, losing by a slim margin to Southern California businessman Harley Rouda. Perhaps he can move in with new Russian envoy Steven Seagal.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who made Kansas the ninth-hardest state in which to vote, was sued by the ACLU multiple times for his illegal Crosscheck program that he claimed cracked down on "voter fraud" but was really just a scheme to disenfranchise voters. He was still at it during his campaign for governor, when he moved the only polling place in Dodge City, which has a sizable Latino population, outside city limits. Fortunately, he lost that race to Democrat Laura Kelly by four points, a fitting reminder that from his secretaryship to his ridiculous commission on electoral integrity, everything he's done has ended in failure.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a puppet for dark money donors Charles and David Koch, won two terms and survived a recall in 2012 but managed to turn his state into a garbage fire by gutting unions, closing women's health centers, defunding public schools, and turning down opportunities that would have brought new jobs to his constituents, like building an express train from Madison to Milwaukee. For a while last night it seemed like he might hold on to his seat, as he was involved in a close race with state superintendent Tony Evers. This morning, however, Evers pulled ahead with 30,000 votes, only a few thousand more than Hillary Clinton lost by in 2016. He and newly elected attorney general Josh Kaul may be able to undo the gerrymandering and make Wisconsin a blue state once again.
Healthcare was the most important issue for voters last night, which played a role in Nevada Senator Dean Heller's loss to Jacky Rosen. Nevadans have benefited tremendously from the Affordable Care Act, with seven out of ten of them saying they were more likely to vote for a candidate who supported it. In 2017, Heller voted for the "skinny repeal" bill that John McCain famously killed, only to backtrack by coming out for expanding coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. Then he went ahead and supported Graham-Cassidy, the controversial September 2017 healthcare repeal bill that never went up for a floor vote. Thanks to this flip-flop, as well as prominent Democratic support from Barack Obama and Joe Biden, Heller is done, and Rosen is one of more than 100 women to win last night.
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