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LIVEBLOG: Midterms 2018

How does Cambridge react?

Cambridge cambridge students Cambridge Union liveblog University of Cambridge

Tonight is the night that we will find out how America have voted in the mid terms. How will Trump be affected? Will he come out on top? How has the unprecedented increase in voter turn out changed the outcome? What kind of America will we be waking up to?

The Tab will be here at the Union all night to keep you updated on what's happening moment by moment.


– The Union voted to oppose the motion 'This House Believes the Special Relationship is over'

– 65% say President Trump was a factor in their vote.

– Republicans win the senate

– Democats take the House

– Analysis from Talking Politics at Trinity Politics Society



Has this made the Trump presidency more or less secure?

Gerstle: Less secure

Thompson: Moderately less secure

Runciman: Moderately more secure


Your Tab rep asked a question (you're welcome): have the results of these elections created a discernible path for the Democrats?

The speakers do not think that there had emerged a definite candidate for 2020, but they think that there is a programmatic direction: healthcare will dominate. They also think that the Democrats have a decision to make, because the Trump presidency was in part a backlash against the blackness of Obama and the womanness of Hillary Clinton – it is hard to say whether they will err on the side of caution and nominate a white man, or continue along the path set out in 2008.


Was Brett Kavanaugh important in these elections?

Thompson: It is hard to explain the Republican turnout without Kavanaugh. The way the Democratic leadership and public behaved during the Kavanaugh hearings greatly disturbed Republicans.

Are we moving out of the neoliberal era?

Gerstle: Trump, and Bernie's reawakened left, are part of a new era. We are in a period of transition.


Is this new House much more left wing than it was yesterday?

Not exceptionally so, but "this blue wave will ignite a discussion about what the Democratic party should be" – Gerstle

08: 29

Part of the outcome of this election is that the Republican party is now the Trump party – he no longer needs moderate votes in the Senate, according to Gerstle

The Mueller investigation will continue again, and the speakers predict a published report soon. Although the impeachment agenda was downplayed during the campaign, it did not go away. However, the Republican Senate will pose a strong barrier to this


Thompson: "No other single issue did as much damage to the Obama administration than healthcare." "For the first time, healthcare is a liability for the Republicans, not the Democrats"

Was this a referendum on healthcare or on Trump?


Gerstle wonders when the Democrats will crack the South? They came "tantalisingly close" in Texas, but not yet.


Runciman tells us that the Democrats were more successful in the House than expected (up 35 seats) and the Republicans more successful in the Senate (up 4 or 5 seats).

These gains are very significant because years of gerrymandering have made far fewer seats contested.

1.5% former felons regained the right to vote this election – the importance of enfranchisement is undeniable


No rest for the wicked – we are sitting in Trinity Politics Society's breakfast recording of Talking Politics with David Runciman, Helen Thompson, and Gary Gerstle. Cambridge's own academics are giving a spicy bit of analysis about this morning's midterm results.

Watch this space

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Product placement?



A historic moment for the US and the Democrat party. We've just got to wait and see what this means for Mr Trump… In the words of the spokesperson from the Democrat HQ 'No one is above the law.' And talking about the diversity coming in with this vote Van Jones on CNN commented, 'it may not be a blue wave but it's a rainbow one.'

But, for now the Tab is signing off for the evening and retreating to bed. Thanks for following if you have, it's been an interesting night!

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it's goodnight from us x


Democrats need 4 more Republican seats in the House to win and we're very near to the last poll closing. We're in the final stretch guys !!


The Union has emptied out quite a lot. Those left are sleepily looking at CNN which at the moment is not saying anything very interesting. The mood is not negative though.

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survival of the fittest


CNN are very sure the Democrats are going to take the house and there are predictions that the Republicans could win more of the Senate than originally expected. 20 minutes until the last polls close!!

Although I just found out that they're playing Jlo at the DNC hq. The Union could do with that sort of panache.


More comment from the floor:

Cambridge Republicans hold up a 'don't tread on me' flag and celebrate retaining the senate.

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A student from Rhode Island commented that, 'It’s exciting to see the Dems take back the house. Let’s hope that this victory serves as check to executive overreach.' Well articulated for half 3 in the morning.

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thought provoking ?


Ted Cruz has won the senate seat in Texas, meaning that the Republicans have WON the senate. There are rumours Texas could be a recount but it's not looking likely.


It's projected that the Republicans are going to win in North Dakota, which is interesting after they put in a law that excluded many Native Americans from voting as they had to have a fixed abode.

Update on the MAGA hat fight, apparently someone poured boiling hot tea (from a flask not the union bar) onto the head of someone wearing it. And then someone tried to run off with it. Exciting stuff.


BREAKING: Reports are telling the Tab that there's been a fight outside the Union over a Make America Great Again cap. Don't let anyone tell you Cantabs aren't passionate about American politics.


The Democrats have picked up the Governor position in Kansas and in Colorado the first openly gay governor has been voted in! Also the aforementioned Yoda has been beaten by a Democratic woman of colour for the House. The mood is lifting a bit.


So two more Democratic pickups – this time in Florida and New Jersey. They now only need 15 pickups to take the House of Representatives. Also Mitt Romney (remember that guy #Rmoney) has gained his seat in the senate for Utah.


Two more Democratic pick ups and in Texas there is still a close race between Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke. It seems to change every few minutes who's winning in that one.

As the filter coffees are finished and we feel you should know that there was a guy with the surname Yoda. It's 3 am and any nuanced humour has gone out the window.


Braun won the senate seat in Indiana, a blow to the Democrats who were hoping they could hold on.

However things are looking up for the Democrats as they have won two seats off of the Republicans for the House of Representatives.

Also the Tab editors, in lieu of both tea and lattes, have filter coffee. It's all glamour at the Union.


The Union is starting to empty out. Those who remain are clinging onto their espresso martinis and cheesy chips. Most upsetting news of the last 10 minutes is that for some reason the Union is not serving tea.


Conservative Democrat Joe Manchin has also held his seat in West Virginia, although conservative means conservative – he voted for Kavanaugh.


Democrat Menendez has retained his seat in senate for New Jersey but the overall mood in the union seems to have drooped a bit. Mainly because CNN's news coverage makes literally no sense.

22 senate seats are still to be announced !


About 8 minutes until the next polls close!


American adverts are weird.


Some Hot Takes from The Union smoking area from some American students studying Politics here:

“The midterms are Beto’s audition for 2020.” – Anthony D’Ambrosio

“It’s so great to see so much political engagement and interest among Brits and American expats at Cambridge during the election." – Jonathan Feld, Philadelphia, PA

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Polls are not yet closed, but the Democrats look set to take Cruz's seat in Texas.


Democrat Donna Shalala looks set to pick up a seat in congress in Florida. Sha la LA.


BREAKING NEWS: Someone has sat in the (Union) President's chair. Anarchy.


TEXAS RESULTS !! 58.5% to Beto O'Rourke (Democrats), 40.9% Ted Cruz (Republican). Cue loud applause from the chamber. Polls are not closed yet.


Senate: 30 Democrats, 42 Republicans

House: 19 Democrats, 16 Republicans


The sound is back and the Democrats are gaining some traction.


UPDATE. Technological chaos returns as the sound system has VANISHED.


CHAOS for 0.2 seconds as someone temporarily clicks off of the livestream. Some people want to watch the world burn.

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Democrats win key HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES race in Virginia at 58%.


The Tab team's resident bae/snack provider is nourishing our hunger for RESULTS xoxox

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Estimates are leaning in favour of the Democrats. We remain optimistic, but we won't celebrate just yet.


Spotted: a couple of lovebirds getting off in The Union chamber. Who knew midterms could be so ROMANTIC?!


Pennsylvania's number one issue at voting: healthcare.


MAGA stash count: 6 hats.


Exit polls: 65% said President Trump was a factor in their vote (cue cheers from the Union – there's a definite political bias here tonight) .


“I’m refusing to believe polls as last time that hurt too much, but I’m praying Beto wins” – Sarah Dees, second year lawyer, Emma, Democrat from Texas.

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Florida estimate: 51/48 to Democrats.


Current estimate for Georgia: 50/46 TOSS UP in favour of the Democrats!


More polls have closed.


MAGA stash count: 5 caps and counting.


Horror engulfs the Union as the television stream DIES.

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unaccetpable tbh


There are already some controversial opinions being shared at the Union. Second year historian, Tohin, says that if he were an American he would vote Republican. However, “as a Brit, I am loyal to her majesty and cannot accept the legitimacy of these elections because the American state is predicated on treason and sedition against the crown”.

Shots. Fired.

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A Farage-esque image, beer in hand


The first polls have closed in Kentucky and Indiana and the conversation on American media is what kind of people could make up the House of Representatives and the Senate. It could turn out to be an election that sees a lot of firsts: we could have the first Native American Congresswoman, the first Muslim Congresswoman and the first transgender governor depending on how the voting goes.

At the moment we're expecting to get the first info in at 00:30 (ish) so stick with us, it won't be long now!


Some cosy bi-partisan shit going on at the Union Bar

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The guy on the right is VERY keen to stress he is not actually a republican, he's doing it for the meme.


The Tab has been talking to Secretary Jeh Johnson to get an inside opinion on the situation this evening. Although he does not believe that the result will impact the relationship with UK he did think it was an important election. To describe the current situation the US is in one word he paused before saying, 'unbelievable.'

When asked if he was feeling hopeful about the result he criticised the use of polls and generally predicting results. But did add 'historically, when the voter turnout is high, the democrats win.'


Only 30 mins until the first polls close (mainly in Kentucky and Indiana) and exit polls suggest that the majority of voters think that the country is heading in the wrong direction.

Healthcare was the top issue for voters!


Exciting Arts and Crafts update!

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A free drawn map of the US for colouring in as the results roll in!


The bar is alive with the sound of democracy in action. Standing room only.

Crowds are settling in for what is sure to be a dramatic evening – grab your bar snacks and booze and join us all night.

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Harry potter bunting promises a magical night


UPDATE: The Union has voted to OPPOSE the motion, that This House Believes the Special Relationship is over!


And the debate is over! Vince Cable took over following the floor questions and was on top form, he made some decent points on how America's embrace of Trump effectively signified a rejection of the international system-including the special relationship-and was good at pushing home just how much Trump has disrespected Theresa May throughout the Brexit process.

Jeh Johnson was a gem as well, his speech was primarily focused on the cultural links between Britain and America and was very nice to listen to.

Now we're just waiting around at the Union following the news so stay tuned for the Tab's coverage of the midterms!

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Serious journalism in action we promise


Over halfway through the debate now and it's been a diverse thought provoking one. Thornberry focused on how we shouldn't equate Trump with the US and how we shouldn't let him get the isolationist America he wants. Joy Jia, a student speaker, talked about the origins of the special relationship and how it's ultimately broken.

There have also been some interesting contributions from the floor, with lots of 'when I was in America' additions. A personal favourite was one American who rather endearingly compared the UK to family.


The debate on the UK's 'special relationship' with the US has begun. Including Vince Cable and Bernard Cazeneuve on the side of the proposition, believing in the relationship is over, and Jeh Johnson and Emily Thornberry on the other.

It's an interesting debate in the context of Brexit, with Cazeneuve already focusing on the power of the EU. And hopefully it should play out to be a good background to this evening's events.