WASHINGTON, DC (NEXSTAR) — The election results show Democrats have maintained control of the House but are unlikely to expand their majority, despite predictions of continuing 2018’s blue wave and a possible flip in the Senate.
At least a handful of Democrats in states President Trump won in 2016 lost their reelection bids, and several Republicans targeted for flips by Democrats held on to their seats.
“We still have the majority,” said Rep. Steve Cohen, D-TN. “That’s important.”
“I was disappointed in the overall House results,” Cohen continued. “I thought we would be gaining votes, members.”
Cohen, who won his race, attributes the smaller margin to Democrats being overly optimistic and Republicans responding well to accusations made by President Trump about Democrat policies the president calls socialist.
“He gave the people what they wanted to hear,” Cohen said.
House Republicans who won reelection, like Rep. Tim Burchett, R-TN, credit the same thing for not only holding on to seats Democrats targeted but also flipping seats.
“With Black folks, Hispanic folks. Go down the list,” Burchett said. “People want to succeed. They don’t want more taxes, and they don’t want more government.”
But Burchett said the election also shows why Democrats need to revamp their strategy.
“The old folks just don’t get it,” he said. “It’s not barbeque and bluegrass any more.”
While control of the Senate still hangs in the balance, Burchett and Cohen were both optimistic about the presidency on Thursday afternoon but from different sides.
“I think it’s going to end up in the courts regardless,” Burchett said.
“Joe Biden’s gonna be president,” Cohen said.
House Democrats’ underperformance in the election could lead to leadership changes within their caucus as well.