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Vote 2018: What message did midterm voters send?

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File image of Buncombe County voters on Election Day 2018. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff

It's been just over a week since the midterm elections, and ballots are still being counted in some states.

Even though we don't know the winners of every race, Republicans will retain a majority in the Senate, and Democrats took the majority in the House of Representatives.

"We're in a divided culture now, and it was proven again last Tuesday," Carl Mumpower, the chair of the Buncombe County GOP, said.

"Voters are excited to give Democrats some ability to be a check on Trump on the national level," Jeffrey Rose, the chair of the Buncombe County Democrats, said.

Western Carolina University Political Science Professor Chris Cooper says Senate Democrats ran in tough places to win.

"It was a better year to be a Republican for the United States Senate. It was better to be a Democrat running for about every other seat," Cooper said.

In North Carolina, Democrats eliminated the House Republicans ability to override the governor's vetoes.

"It's exceptional to have a veto-proof majority, and we kind of expected that to go away. I'm just glad that we retained the primary reins of power. Now we'll let the system work," Mumpower said.

"We're really excited about that, to give Governor Cooper veto power again, to provide a great check on what the GOP in North Carolina has been doing to our state for the last few years," Rose said.

WCU's Cooper said the veto could be a critical tool for the governor.

"It's going to mean not that Governor Cooper can play offense, but that he can play defense more effectively," Cooper said.

Also statewide, voters weighed-in on six constitutional amendments. Four passed and two aimed at limiting the governor's authority failed.

"Voters were making real decisions. You had one party saying, 'Vote yes on six.' You had another party saying, 'Vote no on six.' So, the fact it was four and two tells me voters came out and they really made decisions based on how they want their government to look going forward," Cooper said.

Locally, Mumpower said they're excited about the Republican turnout.

"We work really hard to make that happen, and as a super minority here, we're excited to see our side positively motivated to come out and hold up their hand," Mumpower said.

However, the Democrats retained an open seat on the Board of Commissioners, which means they retained a majority of seats on the board.

"I think that's going to be great for our county going forward," Rose said.

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