Voters across the country delivered a stunning defeat to Democrats, and a powerful rejection of President Barack Obama, in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Of all the things conservatives can celebrate, perhaps the best news of all is that Harry Reid will no longer be the Senate majority leader. Hooray!
At least three incumbent Democrats lost their Senate seats, as Cory Gardner defeated Mark Udall (“Mark Uterus”) in Colorado, Tom Cotton prevailed over Mark Pryor in Arkansas and in perhaps the biggest shocker for Democrats Thom Tillis surged past Kay Hagan to capture the Senate seat in North Carolina.
All three of those deposed Democrats had voted for Obamacare. This means that 25 of the Democratic senators who helped pass that monstrosity are no longer in office. This is quite a repudiation of Obama’s signature piece of legislation. No wonder Tuesday’s results are being referred to as a “Barackalypse.”
Here are some of the other most significant victories from Tuesday:
- In Iowa, Joni Ernst defeated Bill Braley to win the seat for Republicans. Nearby, Ben Sasse defeated Dave Domina in Nebraska, and to the surprise of many, longtime Republican incumbent Pat Roberts held on to the Senate seat in Kansas.
- In Georgia, Republican David Perdue beat Democrat Michelle Nunn by a wide enough margin to avoid a runoff there. The same thing happened in the contest for governor, where the Republican candidate, Nathan Deal, whipped Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter. Nunn was the daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, which means neither family will be building a political dynasty in the state.
All told, Republicans gained seven seats that were formerly held by Democrats, giving them a 52-seat majority in the Senate. They have a chance to pick up at least two more seats. They are still counting the ballots in Alaska, where Republican challenger Dan Sullivan is given an excellent chance of defeating Mark Begich, the Democratic incumbent. Plus, another Democratic incumbent, Mary Landrieu, is facing a runoff next month in Louisiana; and her Republican challenger, Bill Cassidy, is expected to win that seat.
Mitch McConnell easily won re-election in Kentucky, as his Democratic opponent, Allison Lundgren Grimes, ran an embarrassingly bad campaign. So it looks like McConnell will get to fulfill his longtime dream as serving as Senate majority leader.
Republicans are also expected to gain as many as a dozen seats in the House of Representatives, which would give them their biggest majority in almost 60 years. One of the new faces will be Mia Love, a battle-hardened conservative who will become the first black Republican female in the House.
There were also some significant victories for Republicans in contests for state governorships. I’ve already mentioned Georgia. Voters in Texas overwhelmingly chose Republican Greg Abbott as their new governor, which pretty much puts “finished” to the political career of Wendy Davis, the “Abortion Barbie” who ran against him. Compounding Davis’ rejection, her former seat in the state senate was won by Konni Burton, a Tea Party Republican. Adios, Wendy.
In Florida, incumbent Governor Rick Scott won a close election against his challenger, former Governor (and former Republican) Charlie Crist. Further north, Scott Walker won re-election as governor in Wisconsin, despite everything the unions could throw against him. This is actually Walker’s third victory in the state, since he also prevailed against a recall attempt in 2012.
But perhaps the biggest surprise in state contests was the victory by Republicans in three states that are normally considered solid blue: Massachusetts, Illinois and Maryland. Republican incumbents also held off challengers in Ohio, Iowa and New Mexico. All in all, Tuesday was a pretty good night for the GOP.
So now what happens? While the Republicans will enjoy a majority in both branches of Congress, they don’t have enough votes in the Senate to override a presidential veto. Yes, they can refuse to fund some of the Obama’s most egregious policies. But will they have the courage to do so?
We’re about to find out. Yes, I wish we had some stauncher leaders fighting for us. But at least we can expect some interesting battles.
Until next time, keep some powder dry.