Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Credit: M Bali/Flickr

I could write a long list of the many bitter disappointments from Election Day and what they will mean for the future, but that would be an unjustifiable downer in light of all of the good things that happened. So, instead, I will ignore the catastrophic bloodbath in the U.S. Senate or the big disappointments in some of the governor’s races. I won’t harp on the House seats we almost won, but did not. I will instead give you a list of fifty happy occurrences. This isn’t a comprehensive list and the votes are still being counted, so no list could be complete. Hopefully, it will put a smile on your face.

1. The Democrats will take control of the U.S. House of Representatives next year for the first time since January 2011.
2. The Democrats flipped the House and Senate in New Hampshire, and the Senate in Colorado, Maine, and New York.
3. The Democrats won the Trifecta (controlling the governor’s office and both chambers of the legislature) in Colorado, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, Nevada, and New York. In Oregon and Nevada, they won supermajorities in both chambers.
4. The Republicans lost their Trifectas in Kansas and Michigan.
5. The Republicans lost their supermajorities in the North Carolina legislature.
6. The deep red states of Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska used the ballot to expand Medicaid.
7. Florida voted to restore felons’ voter rights.
8. Paul LePage’s reign of terror in Maine came to a decisive end with the election of Democrat Janet Mills as the new governor.
9. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was denied a third term in office when he lost to Democrat Tony Evers.
10. Democrat Tom Wolf was decisively reelected as governor of Pennsylvania.
11. Gretchen Whitmer was elected governor of Michigan, flipping control to the Democrats.
12. Democrat J.B. Pritzker trounced Governor Bruce Rauner of Illinois, flipping control to the Democrats.
13. Democrat Tim Walz was elected governor of Minnesota.
14. The loathsome Kris Kobach was defeated in the Kansas governor’s race by Democrat Laura Kelly.
15. Democrat Jared Polis, who is openly gay, was elected governor of Colorado.
16. Michelle Lujan Grisham was elected governor of New Mexico, flipping control to the Democrats.
17. Steve Sisolak will become the first Democratic governor of Nevada in twenty years.
18. The Democrats retained the governorships of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Oregon, and California.
19. In addition to winning the governorships of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin (the three key Trump states of 2016), the Democrats also won the U.S. Senate races in those states, too.
20. Russian stooge Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California was defeated.
21. The Republican chairman of the House Rules Committee and former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, was defeated.
22. The Democrats won the seat currently held by Mark “Hiking the Appalachian Trail” Sanford of South Carolina.
23. The Democrats won Eric Cantor’s former seat in Virginia, currently held by the loathsome Dave Brat.
24. The Democrats now control ten of New Jersey’s twelve congressional seats, and an eleventh is nearly tied.
25. Democratic women swept the Philly suburbs winning three seats there as well as another in the Lehigh Valley.
26. The Democrats now control seven of Virgina’s eleven congressional seats, driven by the victories of three women.
27. Democratic women flipped two southern Florida congressional seats.
28. Democratic women flipped two of Iowa’s congressional seats.
29. Democratic women flipped a seat in Kansas and a seat in Oklahoma, and a man flipped a seat in Utah.
30. Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk made famous by her refusal to sign marriage licenses for gay couples, lost her bid for reelection.
31. Missouri voted to hike the minimum wage.
32. There were fifteen House candidates that President Trump went out of his way to endorse who lost.
33. Though Beto O’Rourke narrowly lost his bid to oust Sen. Ted Cruz, the Democrats picked up congressional seats in Texas and made significant gains in the legislature.
34. Democrats Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota will become the first Muslim women to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
35. Ayanna Pressley was elected and will be the first black woman to serve in Congress from Massachusetts, and perhaps the first in all of New England.
36. Democrats Sharice Davids of Kansas and Deb Haaland of New Mexico were elected and will be the first Native American women to serve in Congress. Davids will also be first openly LGBTQ member of the Kansas congressional delegation.
37. Missouri and Utah legalized marijuana for medical purposes and Michigan legalized recreational use.
38. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on New York, 29, will become the youngest woman to serve in Congress, followed closely by Abby Finkenauer of Iowa, also 29.
39. Texas is sending its first Latinas to Congress: Veronica Escobar of El Paso and Sylvia Garcia of Houston.
40. It’s looking like Lucy McBath will do what Jon Ossoff could not and win Georgia’s suburban 6th District.
41. In a rare Senate pickup, Jacky Rosen defeated Dean Heller in Nevada.
42. Democrat Mike Espy forced a December runoff in one of the two Mississippi Senate elections, though it will be an uphill climb to win it.
43. The Democrats will control one Senate seat in West Virginia and one (hopefully) in Montana for another six years.
44. Michigan changed their Constitution to ban gerrymandering
45. Colorado, Missouri and (I think) Utah also passed redistricting reform.
46. As frustrating and abusive as the Trump administration has been, people didn’t turn to violence but instead put their trust in our representative democracy and turned out to vote in big numbers.
47. (Selfishly) for the first time since I moved out of Philly into the suburbs, I will be represented by a Democratic state Rep, state Senator and U.S. congressperson.
48. If you’re into this type of thing, California voters overwhelmingly required that all eggs sold in the state come from cage-free hens by 2022.
49. The dead pimp won (hat tip to Jon Ralston).
50. Can you say, “Good afternoon, Chairwoman Maxine Waters”?

So, yeah, I’m still licking some wounds from last night, but there is plenty to be cheerful about this morning.

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Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at