What a night! The GOP retook control of the Senate easily with surprisingly higher victory margins than had been predicted. As of this hour Alaska is yet to be decided but looks good and we can expect the Louisiana runoff to be another pickup. That would make a total of nine with a new majority of 54 seats. Virginia may go to a recount because of the very close contest (don't tell me fraud couldn't impact an election).
Republicans beat 3 incumbent Democrats and didn't lose one of our own. In Kansas, where Pat Roberts was in trouble he won handily with 53-43%. All Senate results here.
In Governor's races Republicans did also exceeded expectations. We lost one incumbent, Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania but knocked off Democrat incumbent Pat Quinn in Illinois and won races in deep blue Massachusetts and Maryland where Obama campaigned for the Democrat. Governor John Kasich, who I was proud to support in his very first campaign for Congress, was re-elected in Ohio with a margin of 31%! Democrats failed to knock off Scott Walker. Do you think they might give up after three tries? With several races still too close to call the GOP has three pickups. All gubernatorial results here.
In House contests the GOP is projected to win 12 or more seats bringing their majority to a post World War II record high. Notable wins were 30-year-old Republican Elise Stefanik in New York, making her the youngest female House member in history and 38 Mia Love, a black conservative woman from Utah. All house race results here.
Doubt that Obama will learn from defeat!
After the 2010 midterm election bloodbath Obama admitted he got "shellacked" and promised he would work with GOP leaders. Here's what he said on November 3, 2010:
We must find common ground in order to set -- in order to make progress on some uncommonly difficult challenges. And I told John Boehner and Mitch McConnell last night I am very eager to sit down with members of both parties and figure out how we can move forward together.Then he went right on attacking Republicans at every opportunity and rejected every appeal for any real bipartisan progress. Expect more of the same on Wednesday and the months to follow.
What about 2016?
Another big loser Tuesday was Hillary Clinton. Virtually every Democrat in a close election for whom she campaigned lost. Looking ahead to 2016 that demonstrates her vulnerability but also, she has few people who owe her for helping them and that will hurt in the primaries and general election.
Tuesday was a great night with a fantastic win. There will be setbacks in the months ahead but we have to keep our eyes on the long game and not let our giddy expectations following such a grand victory turn to disappointment. Republicans won the battle of 2014 decisively but the war goes on!
UPDATE: Obama "Defiant" in the face of overwhelming defeat. No change in policy!
Obama insisted his policies were on the ballot "every single one of them." The election result was surely a repudiation of his policies and his leadership. But he doesn't get it. Julie Pace, writing for the Associated Press put it this way:
A day after Democrats lost control of the Senate and suffered big losses in House and governors' races across the country, Obama struck a defiant tone. He defended his policies, stood by his staff and showed few signs of changing an approach to dealing with congressional Republicans that has generated little more than gridlock in recent years. Rather than accept the election results as a repudiation of his own administration, the president said voters were disenchanted with Washington as a whole.Chris Cillizza writing at the Washington Post told a similar story titled "Republicans just won the election. President Obama doesn’t much care."
Question: Does this sound like a man who understands the clear and sweeping message from the election and is truly ready to work with Republicans? Or, is this the uncompromising tone of a man prepared to defy the will of the American people as clearly expressed at the ballot box?