Why the new Republican Congress has a mandate — in one chart


On January 23, 2009, in a meeting with Congressional leaders about his stimulus proposal, newly-inaugurated President Obama responded to Republican critiques of his plan with, “I won.” In another meeting on February 25, 2010, this time about the soon-to-be-passed healthcare law, Obama responded to a question from John McCain about kickbacks in the bill with, “The election’s over.” And in a November 5, 2014 press conference after the recent midterm elections, President Obama still maintained the same stubborn arrogance about his political position by arguing that the 2/3 of the country who didn’t vote still support him. The facts, however, paint an entirely different picture.

On Election Day 2014 as each state’s results rolled in, and more Senate seats and even deep blue state governorships fell to the GOP, it was clear a wave election was taking place. Usually when a wave happens, the new majority party has mandate to pursue their policy. The Republican Revolution of 1994 caused President Clinton to retreat and compromise with the new majority on many planks of their Contract with America.

However, since this year’s election many of the usual suspects have argued Republicans have no mandate, even with a larger majority in the House and now control of the Senate. If the actual election results weren’t clear enough, a Gallup poll question has proven beyond any doubt that Americans want Republicans to lead the country now, regardless of who is in the White House.


In the poll taken November 6-9, after the elections, a majority say Republicans should “have more influence over the direction the nation takes”. Even when he was reelected in 2012, only 46% of Americans said President Obama should lead the direction of the country. 7% more people think Republicans should lead the country now than thought Obama should when they reelected him.

Also consider the fact that this is a poll of just adults, not registered or likely voters or people who voted in the election. Statistically, polls of adults skew much more Democratic than those of registered voters, and even more so than polls of likely voters. A similar poll of likely voters would undoubtedly show an even more significant majority in favor of Republican leadership.

If the new GOP Congress doesn’t have a mandate now, then President Obama certainly didn’t have one when he took his second inaugural.

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.