Gov. Brown wins re-election as Democrats take House

Democrats made major gains locally, statewide and nationally November 6, capping off a tumultuous midterm election cycle that served as a national referendum on the Trump presidency.

The Democratic Party won a majority of seats in the House of Representatives, gaining at least 30 seats as of November 15 with several races still too close to call. Democrats also rebuilt their profile at the state level, winning competitive governorships in Republican-dominated Kansas and Wisconsin.

In Oregon, incumbent Democratic Governor Kate Brown won her re-election bid against Republican nominee Knute Buehler by 6 points, defying pundits who had predicted a closer race. Up and down the ballot, Oregonians lived up to their liberal reputation, voting down conservative ballot measures on abortion and border security while grabbing supermajorities in both houses of the state legislature.

“This election was really about voters – Multnomah County voters, in particular – putting their foot down,” says social studies teacher Chris Buehler. “They took a look at what was happening nationally and they just said, ‘that’s not who we are. That’s not who Oregon is.’”

The increased national attention to the election may have led to a huge turnout – according to the Oregon Secretary of State’s office, roughly 1.9 million Oregonians submitted ballots, a record for a midterm election.  

For progressive, left-wing organizations like the Bus Project– a nonprofit dedicated to registering young voters for progressive causes– the election marked a major victory.

“We did a lot of canvassing and phone banking and door-to-door work, just making sure to get the vote out,” says junior Anna Rosenberg, a volunteer for the Bus Project. “I think overall we were pretty successful.”

The midterm races highlighted the increased civic participation of young voters like Rosenberg. An early estimate from Tufts University indicates that the record for youth turnout ages 18-29 was shattered.

For Chris Buehler, however, it’s yet another example of Lincoln students feeling free to voice their opinions.

“In my experience, Lincoln students have always gotten involved when it comes to things that affect them,” says Buehler. “Whether that’s walking out for the new bond measures, or getting together in groups like Brothers of Color, Sisters of Color, Conservative Student Union … Lincoln students aren’t afraid to say what they think, and I think we definitely saw that on Tuesday [Nov. 6].”