2018 post election analysis

Federal Issues

The 2018 Elections saw countless changes in America’s elected leadership at all levels of government. This short debrief will give you an accurate snapshot of the election results at the state and federal levels. Most importantly, it will give you the opportunity to learn more and take action on issues that impact architects, their businesses, and the communities they serve.  

Federal results

“The new Democratic majority in the House marks a return to divided government that could make it difficult for major legislation to pass in the 116th Congress. However, insiders see potential opportunities for bipartisanship with the Republican controlled Senate on infrastructure, higher education reauthorization, and appropriations legislation, where Majority Leader McConnell will continue his focus on confirmation of the President’s judicial nominees.”

—R. David Pore, Partner, Hance Scarborough, LLP

  • Republicans picked up four seats in the Senate, while Democrats picked up two seats. The race in Mississippi will be decided in a runoff election on November 27. Regardless, the Republicans will control the Senate in 2019 and 2020.
  • Democrats flipped 42 seats in the House, while Republicans only flipped 3 seats. The Democrats will control the House in 2019 and 2020.
  • There will be 100 first time new members of Congress.

State results

"The 2018 Elections on the state level mostly reaffirmed where the strongholds of both parties reside. This translated into Democrats picking up numerous governors offices while Republicans kept well over a majority of individual state legislative chambers. One party now controls both the legislative and executive branches in 40 out of 50 states, 27 of those are Republican controlled and 13 are Democrat controlled. While many professions' issues remain partisan, we see architects having an ability to move their mostly bipartisan policy agenda items over the next two years."

—Davon Gray, Senior Political Affairs Director, AIA

  • Democrats will control  23 governorships (+7), 18 state senate chambers (+4) and 19 state assemblies (+1).
  • Republicans will control 27 governorships, 32 state senate chambers and 30 state assemblies.
  • Fewest legislative chambers to change parties in 2 decades.
  • 300 legislative seats are expected to change hands. 400 seats flip in a typical election.

  • Democrats will have a trifecta 14 states (+6) and hold the governorship in 9 states (+4) were the Republicans control at least     one chamber of the legislature.
  • Republicans will have a trifecta 23 states (-2) and hold the governorship in 4 states were the Democrats control at least one chamber of the legislature.
  • Having a trifecta allows a party to enact their agenda without compromise. Conversely, controlling the governorship or the legislature, allows a minority party to slow the legislative priorities of the majority party.
  • The only state that was left with a divided legislature was Minnesota.

Why do the elections matter to architects?

Because our elected officials make decisions on issues that directly affects our profession!

From a new Congress in our nation's capital and 20 new governors in our state capitals to countless mayors and city council members in our city halls, these individuals will make decisions that present opportunities and challenges for our profession. That is why AIA continues to increase its investment in advocacy because it is vitally important for AIA to advance the profession through our lobbying for and against issues affecting architects.

But we need architects to weigh in too!

What can architects do after the elections?

This year, AIA launched the Blueprint for Better campaign—a proactive effort that highlights the role of architects as thought and action leaders in improving America’s cities, towns, and neighborhoods. A major part of this campaign also focuses on encouraging architects to work with local, state, and federal officials to solve public policy issues that directly affect the work they do every day.

Just as we are leading through design, architects must also lead in developing policy solutions on issues that affect our profession, our businesses and the communities we serve.

"If we are to truly make change in our communities and the nation, we need to both practice architecture AND advocate on policies that influence the built environment. Only then can we truly create a 'blueprint for better.'"

—Carl Elefante, FAIA, 2018 AIA President

Visit the Architect Action Center and begin helping to educate our elected officials on the critical issues that AIA will be lobbying on in 2019 and 2020.

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Federal Issues