Suggestive Results in the House of Representatives

The Story:

Last week’s election was never expected to threaten the Democratic Party’s control in the House of Representatives, and it did not. But there were several elections around the country that suggest the continuing polarization of the US electorate, and that may tell us something about where our politics is headed.

The Races:

In Minnesota’s 7th district, a very rural constituency in the western part of the state, incumbent Collin Peterson (D) lost his seat to challenger Michelle Fischbach (R), an ardent anti-abortion activist.

In Colorado’s 3d, also a rural constituency, a flamboyantly pro-gun rights candidate, Lauren Boebert (R), who had defeated the seat’s incumbent in her party’s primary in June, also defeated Diane Mitsch Bush (D), a retired sociology professor, in November.

In Florida’s 15th, the northeastern suburbs of Tampa, traditionally very Republican, that party’s Scott Franklin, an insurance company executive, defeated Democrat Alan Cohn after a campaign waged largely over Cohn’s support for, and Franklin’s opposition to, Obamacare. (Neither candidate was the incumbent.)

And in California’s 25th, north Los Angeles and east Ventura County, challenger Christy Smith (D) at this writing seems to have (narrowly) defeated incumbent Mike Garcia (R) in a campaign dominated by the devastating wildfires in the area, and behind them the questions raised by climate change.

The Thing to Know:

Abortion, guns, health insurance, and climate change: that is a workable short list of the issues that divide the United States on left/right lines in 2020.

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