The 2018 Midterms as the Buffet Election

When I was a kid in small-town Oregon, my family would occasionally go to King’s Table, and my sister and I would get free rein at the buffet.

I became famous in my own family for my condiment salad — an impressive collection of bacon bits, croutons, shredded cheese, sunflower seeds and plenty of ranch dressing. Essentially, my strategy involved choosing what looked and tasted good and avoiding anything of nutritional value.

These midterm elections were a buffet for both parties. Yes, there are more delicious morsels for Democrats, but there are enough results for Republicans to make their own condiment salad, ignoring losses that might otherwise cause the party to make some changes.

The Democratic plate includes gaining at least 40 seats in the House coupled with a new majority, taking over seven governorships and more than 300 state legislative seats, winning a U.S. Senate seat in a Trump state (Arizona), and holding down their total losses in the Senate while defending a difficult map.

The less savory results for Democrats include Ohio, where they lost the governorship to a 35-year politician and failed to take over any House seats. After losing the 12th District special election in suburban Columbus by less than a percentage point, Democrat Danny O’Connor lost to Republican Troy Balderson by nearly 5 points in the rematch. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown won re-election, but by just 6 points against an underwhelming GOP opponent in a race that never received much…

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