Student Republicans and Democrat from Tech experienced mixed reactions after the Nov. 6 midterm elections.
Democrats added 30 seats to take control of the House of Representatives while Republicans gained two seats to retain control of the Senate.
Republican senator-elect Marsha Blackburn defeated former Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen to become Tennessee’s first female senator.
Maddison Davis, president of the Tech College Democrats said although she is happy with the Democrats controlling the House, she is disappointed with Bredesen’s loss.
“We’re glad Democrats took the House but I was personally disappointed in Bredesen’s performance,” Davis sad. “We put a lot into his campaign, and I was surprised with how lopsided it was, but that’s part of being a Democrat in Tennessee.”
Blackburn defeated Bredesen by nearly 11 percent of the vote, receiving almost 250,000 more votes. Republican businessman and Governor-elect Bill Lee defeated Democrat and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean by over 20 percent of the vote.
Tanner Cox, chairman of the Tech College Republicans, said the elections represented success for Republicans.
“As a whole we are very happy,” Cox said. “Of course, there is room for improvement and there are areas that we need to do better in the 2020 elections but being able to gain Senate seats was an accomplishment.”
Cox cited Blackburn and Lee’s lopsided victories as reasons for Republican optimism.
“Blackburn won by over 10 percent, Bill Lee by over 20 percent, and seven out of nine house seats went Republican. That bodes well for the Republican Party in Tennessee,” Cox said.
Davis said she thought a large portion of Bredesen’s loss came as a result of his support of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Talk of a “blue wave” dominated cable news networks entering the election, with some people expecting democrats to capture hundreds of seats across the country. Davis said she did not expect a wave election, instead calling it a “blue splash.”
“I never really expected it to be a blue wave, they are incredibly rare,” Davis said. “People were using that term loosely to describe momentum behind Dems, and I think that happened, but it didn’t equate to electoral wins.”
Cox said although he is “concerned” with the Democratic takeover in the House, he values the Senate victory more.
“I would much rather have the Senate than the House,” Cox said. “It will make accomplishing President Trump’s agenda more difficult, but I think the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi will be forced to negotiate with the president to get some legislation passed.”
The college Democrats meet the first Tuesday of every month in the library. The Republicans meet once a month, and Cox said those interested should check Tech Times for their next meeting date.
The 119th U.S. Congress is scheduled to convene on Jan. 3.