Republican mid-term victories exceeded the expectations of even the most optimistic of GOP projections. Republicans waltzed to victory in Senate races labeled as highly competitive and captured House seats that were not even on the radar—a fact that will expand the GOP House majority beyond the post-World War II record of 246 seats set in the 1946 election.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Maine Gov. Paul LePage had no problem holding their positions in races Democrats targeted as pick-ups. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez made their targeted re-elections look easy, flouncing their Democrat opponents by huge margins. And, as of last night, the traditionally deep blue states of Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois all have Republican governor-elects.
- The Republican takeover of the South is finally complete.
Gone are the days of Arkansas’ reputation as the “last Democratic stronghold in the South.” Despite Bill Clinton’s best campaign efforts to hold the governorship and a Senate seat, Arkansas rejected Sen. Mark Pryor by 16% of the voter—not even the popular Pryor family name stood a chance against the wrath of voters. Arkansas’ governor’s office will transition into the hands of Republican Asa Hutchinson, a “former member of the House team that led impeachment proceedings against Clinton in 1998.”
- Democrats failed at distancing themselves from the president.
Democrats could not get away from the failed policies of President Obama. Of course, it didn’t help that—although they tried to deny it—many incumbent Democrats supported Obama’s failed policies.
- The ‘war on women’ fell flat this year.
Last night, Charles Krauthammer quipped, “This is the end of the War on Women, and the Democrats lost.” Colorado’s Sen. Mark Udall centered his re-election bid on “attacking Republican challenger Cory Gardner over his past support for a so-called personhood amendment.” In fact, Udall’s relentless attack (nine Democratic outside groups aired 14,066 abortion-related spots) earned him the nickname “Mark Uterus.” Gardner managed to fend off the attack, refocusing the message to issues that resonated with voters.