Recapping the 2010 mid-term election

“Last night was devastating, no question.” - MoveOn.org

The dust is still settling on last night’s returns. We’re going to hear a lot of analysis over the mid-terms and what it means for both the new majority for House Republicans, Democrats that survived in both chambers and President Barack Obama.

As it currently stands, Republicans gained over 60 seats in the House and six in the Senate. They also picked up at least nine governerships and 19 state legislatures. The states where the GOP made significant gains make up a chunk of the electoral college.

Keith Olbermann and others can deny it all they want, it was a historic night. Newt Gingrich, who was behind the Republican Revolution in 1994, is calling last night “a more decisive repudiation” than what President Bill Clinton faced. The Republican Party will enter the 112th Congress with their largest majority since 1928, during the Hoover Administration, and the largest pick-up for either party since 1948.

Why did the GOP win? It’s the economy, stupid. And it’s an issue, as David Boaz explains, that Republicans must to continue to emphasize as they head into 2012.There is a reason that over two dozen Democrats that voted for cap-and-trade lost last night.

Boaz also notes that spending cuts must be in the equation. That’s a topic the Cato Institute, where Boaz serves as executive vice-president, was happy to discuss today by offering the GOP a starting point to trim the bloated federal budget.

Republicans are already making plans for when they take control on January 3, 2011. Rep. John Boehner, who is poised to become Speaker of the House, is going to make a push to repeal ObamaCare, though they don’t have the numbers to override a veto. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who lacks a majority let alone enough votes to override a veto, echoed Boehner’s call for repeal.

Democrats still don’t know what hit them last night. I listened to President Barack Obama’s speech this afternoon. Obama said that Republicans can’t “spend the next two years refighting the political battles of the last two.” Well, the reason voters sent your party packing is because of the last two years.

He also said, “None of the challenges we face lend themselves to simple solutions or bumper-sticker slogans.  Nor are the answers found in any one particular philosophy or ideology.” In 2008, Obama rode into the White House on “Yes we can,” “hope” and “change.” Please don’t hand me that lame line when you’re presidency is built on platitudes and cheap slogans.

Here is video of the president’s speech:

I don’t think 2012 is going to be a cakewalk, though I do think the GOP has a decent shot of retaining the majority in the House and building on their gains from last night in the Senate. However, like most voters, I’m skeptical of this new Republican majority in the House. I’ve been let down too often over the last several years. It’s hard for me to get my hopes up.

Here are some winners and losers from last night.

Winners

  • John Boehner: GOP gains 60+ seats and gain control of the House. Say hello to Speaker John Boehner.
  • Club for Growth: The free market PAC had its best election yet last, scoring 20 wins in 23 races.
  • Harry Reid: He really should have lost, but he had a better ground game then Sharron Angle.
  • Lisa Murkowski: Like her or not, she pulled off of a big task last night and will likely win as a write-in candidate.
  • Marco Rubio: It’s not “if he’ll run for president,” but when?

Mixed Bag

  • Tea Party: They won some, but Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle and Ken Buck were disasters in seats that the GOP should have won.
  • Sarah Palin: She did well in gubernatorial races, but was under 50% with House endorsements and shares the tea party’s fate with Angle and O’Donnell.
  • Colorado Republicans: They picked up two House seats, but what their candidate for Governor barely got enough of the vote to keep major party status and Ken Buck was disappointing.
  • ObamaCare referendums: Voters in Arizona and Oklahoma spoke out against the individual mandate ObamaCare yesterday. However, voters in Colorado support it.

Losers

  • Barack Obama: If you watched his press conference, you know that he knows that he was backhanded by voters. However, I don’t think he understands why.
  • Blue Dog Democrats: 22 of 54 of them lost last night. Another six open seats held by Blue Dogs went to the GOP.
  • Charlie Crist: Maybe you should have run for a second term as Governor?
  • California: Prop. 19 goes down and voters continue to elect people that aren’t going to fix the problems facing the state.
  • Nancy Pelosi: Will she stay or will she go after facing devastating losses?


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