Onlookers in the nation's capitol were treated to quite the view on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 6. While Election Day for the 2018 midterms was already shaping up to be a dramatic one, an unexpected surprise came literally out of the blue: a rainbow hovering over the center of Washington D.C. just hours before the polls there were to close. On social media, users were posting tweets about the rainbow over the U.S. Capitol Building — and reading it as a positive sign as the nation waits for the election results.
Photos and videos on social media and news feeds showed a massive rainbow spreading across the district backdrop on Tuesday evening, and from some angles, it looked like it was coming down straight into the Capitol Building. On Twitter, users were taking the meteorological phenomenon as a good sign for Election Day. "There's a beautiful rainbow on top of the US Capitol right now before the election results come in!" tweeted Democratic political strategist Maria Cardona. "I am taking that as a good sign for Dems!"
"The only thing more rewarding than seeing your #IVoted photo's in my feed; is seeing a rainbow beaming over Capitol Hill on Election Day!" tweeted writer Ashlee Marie Preston.
"Stunning rainbow next to the Capitol after a dark, rainy day," tweeted HuffPost reporter Hayley Miller. "'It must be a sign,' a man next to me says as he snaps a photo."
Some were jokingly skeptical that the rainbow was anything more than a coincidence. "[T]here's a rainbow over Capitol Hill," tweeted reporter Sarah Harvard. "I can't wait for the 15,000 think pieces on what that means for the midterm elections...obviously, it means that dems take back the House."
Either way, the rainbow did seem to be pretty spectacular, based on the photos and videos circulating.
People were clearly eager to read the rainbow as a sign that change is afoot. The midterm elections have been heralded as an indicator on not just the forward direction of the country, but a referendum on whether the country will be moving with or away from President Donald Trump. While Trump, as well as former President Barack Obama, have come out in recent weeks to rally and encourage voters to get to the polls, the country is waiting to see how the battle will unfold. And Congress might look pretty different depending on what the results from Tuesday show.
The phenomenon had even greater connotations in a year that has been predicted as a "Rainbow Wave," referring to the record number of LGBTQ+ individuals who are running for office this year.
Projections from FiveThiryEight as of 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday showed that Democrats have a 7 in 8 chance of taking control of the House of Representatives, while it projects that the GOP will hold onto the Senate.
Even ahead of any day-of results, the turnout in this year's midterm elections appears to be on track to outpace the turnout rate from the previous one in 2014. As of earlier Tuesday, according to the Election Project, the total number of ballots cast in early voting was already at 38 million — more than 141 percent of what it was in 2014.