2018 Election Update

Americans went to the polls on Tuesday, November 6 to cast ballots for Members of Congress, Governors and State Superintendents. Read below to learn more about the results thus far.

U.S. House of Representatives Flips to Democratic Majority 

Current projections indicate that Democrats will pick up at least 30 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives (results are not yet final), gaining control of the chamber for the 116th Congress. As of this writing, 414 of 435 races have been called, with Democrats holding 220 seats and Republicans holding 194. Given this, current Minority Leader Rep. Pelosi (D-CA) is expected to become the Speaker of the House and the leadership for House committees will shift. The leadership for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will likely change from current Chairwoman Rep. Foxx (R-NC) to current Ranking Member Rep. Scott (D-VA). The leadership for the House Appropriations Committee will also likely shift from current Chairman Rep. Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) to current Ranking Member Rep. Lowey (D-NY). The Co-Chairs of the Congressional CTE Caucus, Rep. Thompson (R-PA) and Rep. Langevin (D-RI) were re-elected, as was Rep. Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) (who co-sponsored the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V)).

Republicans Retain Senate Majority

Current projections indicate that Republicans will pick up at least two seats in the U.S. Senate (results are not yet final) and maintain their majority heading into the 116th Congress. Given this, current Majority Leader Sen. McConnell (R-KY) is expected to retain his leadership role. As of this writing, 96 of 100 races have been called, with Republicans holding 51 seats, Democrats holding 43 seats and Independents holding two seats (Senators Sanders (I-VT) and King (I-ME) caucus with Democrats). The races in Montana, Florida and Arizona are too close to call and the special election for one of the Mississippi Senate seats is headed to a runoff election in December. Two of the four Senate CTE Caucus Co-Chairs, Sen. Kaine (D-VA) and Sen. Baldwin (D-WI), were up for reelection and both won their races.

Transitions in the States: Governors and State Superintendents

The dust is still settling in a few key gubernatorial races, but many competitive races have already closed. Of the 36 states that held races for governor this year, 16 are projected to be won by Democrats, 20 are projected to be won by Republicans and six flipped from Republican to Democratic control. Education was a top issue in several of these contests. In Wisconsin, State Superintendent Tony Evers defeated incumbent Governor Scott Walker.

Voters in seven states also selected new state superintendents: California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Georgia, Idaho, South Carolina and Wyoming. Notably, a ballot initiative was defeated in South Carolina that would have given the governor the power to appoint the state superintendent of education.

What do these results mean for CTE? It may be too early to tell, but career readiness was a pillar for many candidates’ education platforms in the 2018 midterm election. In February, the American Enterprise Institute reported that CTE was the education issue that garnered the most support from candidates. Either way, states should start preparing for new leadership from the governor’s mansion down to local school boards. Advance CTE has developed a suite of resources and tools to educate new policymakers on the value and promise of CTE, including a PowerPoint template, tips for engaging policymakers and communications materials from states.

Kathryn Zekus, Senior Associate for Federal Policy and Austin Estes, Senior Policy Associate

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