Tight Congressional Races Are Signs Of The Future

The House of Representatives represents one of the most idealistic visions of government present within the entire U.S. system. Every two years, the entire House is up for reelection, and theoretically, every candidate has to fight to show that they deserve the seat, to either prove that their last two years in office makes them worthy of reelection, or that their will is strong enough to exert real force on the 435-member body. It doesn't always work out exactly that way — some congressional representatives rarely face a serious challenger and end up in office for decades — but the House races are still an essential and informative part of the electoral process. This year, although the House won't change too much, the trend in tight congressional races indicates that the Democrats could be back in power soon.

Unlike the race for the presidency, the battle for the U.S. House of Representatives isn't a particularly exciting one this cycle. Although there was the possibility early on that the Democrats could take both branches of the legislature, it looks more and more certain that the Republican party will maintain its control over the House on Election Day.

There are a few tight and pretty important races, like Florida's 7th District, just north of Orlando. Republican representative John Mica is being seriously challenged for the seat he's held for 20 years by Stephanie Murphy, a Vietnamese-American woman who is allying with the LGBT community, which was recently attacked in this summer's Pulse Nightclub shooting. Murphy's reelection efforts have already cost nearly $5 million, a really high number for a House race, but the will to see a change in this seat is clearly a strong motivator.

What this House election appears to represent more than anything is a national lean away from reactionary conservatism. Republicans have dominated the House in six of the eight sessions of Congress since Sept. 11, 2001, and seemed unstoppable when they gained the largest majority since the 1990s in the 2014 midterm election. Democrats aren't predicted to win the House back this year, but they will largely erode that historic deficit. Donald Trump has been a boon to the Democrats by critically injuring some down-ticket races, and picking up seats now should help the Democrats win back full control in 2018.

Simply due to dilution, House races don't get as much attention as presidential ones, but altogether, they can be very telling of the ideals of the nation as a whole. As the Democrats sit primed to pick up more seats in the House and bring the two parties closer to an equilibrium, the country seems to be embracing a more liberal ideal for the future.