November 3, 2010

On Midterm Elections of 2010: Aftermath

Excellent gains for the GOP. There's not much I can add, only that it was a very good election. Good gains nationally (with some very disappointing results in certain states), great gains for governors, and brilliant gains in state legislatures.

A few of the disappointing results: Barbara Boxer (D) kept her CA Senate seat, Harry Reid (D) kept his NV Senate seat, the Democrats kept the WV Senate seat, Michael Bennett (D) keeps his Senate seat from CO, Pat Murray (D) kept her WA Senate seat, Hickenlooper (D) won as CO governor, and Jerry Brown (D) won as CA governor.

Delaware's Senate seat went to Chris Coons (D), but that's to be expected. Christine O'Donnell (R) made a bit of a race of it.

Washington, West Virginia, Nevada, and Colorado were especially frustrating, largely because those were the ones we had the biggest chances at. Dino Rossi (R) was within one percentage point of beating Patty Murray (D); the totals were 51.8% to 49.2%.

Nevada was disappointing, mainly because any election that leaves Harry Reid (D) intact was a failure. On the other hand, it's mitigated by the fact that Reid, Jr. (D) lost the Nevada governorship to the Republican. Sweet cakes.

On the other hand, there were enormous achievements made by the GOP. The first two non-white female governors were elected -- Nikki Haley of SC (first female Indian governor) and Susanna Martinez of NM (first female Hispanic governor) -- who are both Republicans. Allen West (R) will be the first black Representative from Florida since the 1870s. Jamie Herrera (R) will be the first Hispanic to represent Washington in the House. Brian Sandoval (R) will be Nevada's first Hispanic governor. Tim Scott (R) will be the first African representative from South Carolina since the Reconstruction.

60+ seats have been won in the House, surpassing the total of 54 seats from the Republican Revolution of 1994. The Republicans now control the House of Representatives, and the midterm election was the largest Congressional gain for Republicans since the 1930s. The GOP may have only gained a few Senate seats, but +7 is still a strong gain.

It may just be easier to quote Stateline and Redstate:

In historical terms, the most dramatic wins for the Republicans were in the South. As recently as 20 years ago, long after the region had begun voting Republican in presidential elections, Democrats held every Southern legislative chamber. After last night, Republicans will control a majority of the region's legislative chambers for the first time since Reconstruction.

The GOP took both the North Carolina Senate and North Carolina House from the Democrats, winning the Senate for the first time since 1870. The party won both houses of the Alabama Legislature from the Democrats, which will also give the Republicans control there for the first time since Reconstruction. In Oklahoma, Republicans retained their control of the Legislature, which, coupled with their win in the governor's race, will give the GOP complete control of state government for the first time ever. In Tennessee the story was similar: Republicans won the governorship and solidified their control of the Legislature, putting them fully in charge of the state for the first time since Reconstruction.
Republicans will control both houses of the legislature in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Indiana. In all five states, Democrats entered the election with control of the lower house. In Wisconsin, they'd had the Senate, too. All those states also will have Republican governors come January.
Republicans also picked up the Montana House, both houses of the Minnesota Legislature and both houses of the Maine Legislature. Maine joined Wisconsin in going from complete Democratic control of state government, including the legislature and the governorship, to complete Republican control.
The Texas and Tennessee Houses went from virtually tied to massive Republican gains. The gains in Texas were so big that the Republicans no longer need the Democrats to get state constitutional amendments out of the state legislature.
Republicans picked up 23 chambers of state legislatures. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans now control both houses of the state legislature in 25 states.

Even by our highest standards we performed excellently. This was not just a Congressional realignment; it never was going to be. Democrats are holding onto power from the top down; our fuel comes from the bottom up, and the states would obviously be more responsive to the mood of the people.

2010 is over. Now, who's ready for 2012?

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