A tale of two elections played out Tuesday night, as the trending political divide between urban and rural areas was on full display. Republicans played defense in many urban/suburban districts in the U.S. House of Representatives and went on offense in the U.S. Senate in many rural states.
Buoyed by a record amount of campaign money and capitalizing on President Trump’s poor approval ratings in suburban areas, the Democratic Party regained control of the House, which it had lost in 2010. At press time, Democrats are projected to gain a net 35 seats for a 12-seat majority—a number which could shrink or expand by a few seats in the days ahead.
Playing offense in many so-called “Trump states,” the Republican Party bucked traditional midterm losses and increased their majority by one to three seats—the latter being most likely. At press time, the race in Arizona remains uncalled but is leaning in the Republican’s favor. Similarly, the race in Florida is likely heading to a recount, but the Republican challenger is in a strong position to prevail. Mississippi heads to a Nov. 27 run-off, where the Republican is expected to prevail.
InsurPac distributed $2,060,500 to a total of 288 federal campaigns, winning at least 245 of them for an 85% victory rate. In disbursing this money, InsurPac did not look at party affiliation. As always, it gave money to representatives, senators and candidates for federal office that have been advocates of the independent agency system.
Not only was InsurPac’s financial support in these races critical, but so were the grassroots efforts demonstrated by independent agents. Thousands of individuals volunteered their time, organized fundraisers, attended campaign events and, most importantly, cast their ballots. The Big “I” has always prided itself on representing members who understand and appreciate their civic duties and responsibilities, and this year was no different.
As with every election, some members of Congress who are friends to independent agents suffered losses. While disappointing, they are an equally important reminder that the association’s friends in Congress cannot be taken for granted. They must have the necessary financial resources to win re-election each cycle. For that reason, the Big “I” must maintain a strong PAC to support and defend the association’s allies on Capitol Hill and to elect more candidates who will support the independent agency system.
Nathan Riedel is Big “I” vice president of political affairs.