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ANALYSIS: Here's some of what we know about Election Day's implications


Sen. Mike Braun, R-Indiana, points to the crowd after winning the senate race Nov. 6 in the JW Marriott in Indianapolis. Matt Begala

Though the vote talliers have not yet finished their work, Tuesday night proved to Hoosiers that the so-called blue wave would not touch the Crossroads of America.

Republicans flipped Indiana’s available Senate seat from blue to red, electing Mike Braun and denying Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly a second term in Washington, D.C. In the 9th Congressional District, of which Bloomington is a part, incumbent GOP Rep. Trey Hollingsworth handily defeated Democratic challenger Liz Watson.

On a national scale, this marks the first time during President Trump’s tenure that his party did not control both houses of Congress. It is common for the president’s party to lose seats during midterm elections, but people on all sides went into Election Day with a great degree of uncertainty.

Here is what we know to be true about Tuesday night’s races, and what it could mean going forward:

Indiana will have no Democrats in statewide offices come 2019

Indiana voters resoundingly chose Republican Mike Braun to be their next senator, ensuring — for now — that the incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly will serve only one term in the Senate. With 93 percent of precincts reporting Wednesday, Donnelly trailed Braun by a little less than 8 percentage points across the state.

The last time Indiana had two Republicans in the Senate was 1999, with current Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and former Sen. Richard Lugar.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb was not up for re-election, but his Secretary of State and State Auditor and Treasurer all achieved decisive victories. 

Two Democratic congressmen in Indiana won easy re-election races, but they represent their respective districts in the House. Rep. André Carson, D-7th District, and Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st District, represent the Indianapolis area and part of Northwest Indiana, respectively. 

The Senate is solidly red

Along with the acquisition of Donnelly’s seat in the Senate, the Republican party also picked up North Dakota and Missouri. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Senate race in Florida had not been called.

The GOP was unable to flip seats in New Jersey, West Virginia and Montana, all of which were up for grabs. Democrats flipped one of Nevada's Senate seats, but it was not enough to bridge the deficit.

The houses of Congress are divided

The Democrat-controlled House will pose a new test for the Trump presidency. 

House responsibilities include commissioning investigations and stopping legislation from passing. The legislative branch of government is intended, in part, to serve as a check on the executive, and this is the first time the White House has no control over the House majority agenda. 

The president said at a Wednesday morning news conference that the “government comes to a halt” if Democrats pursue an investigation.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Indiana would have no Democrats in statewide offices come 2018. It should have said Indiana will have no Democrats in statewide offices come 2019. The IDS regrets this error.

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