Tuesday November 4, 2014 was a very good night for Republicans. In my opinion it wasn’t a WAVE because in a wave I would expect to see states like Virginia and New Hampshire fall as well. They didn’t. I’d also expect to see us perform better in states like Florida and Michigan. So while I may not think this was a wave… it was still a very good night.
Let’s recap what you might have missed.
There were a few major themes to watch heading into the night –
1. Would Republicans retake the Senate majority
2. Would Republicans stave off opposition advances in Kentucky, Georgia and Kansas
3. How BIG would Republicans grow their lead in the House
4. The Democrats seemed poised to make gain with Governors
First, the Senate. Republicans needed to “net” 6 seats to take the majority and they moved quickly to do this. Arkansas, Montana, West Virginia and South Dakota were all won almost as soon as the polls closed. Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina all took longer, but eventually they too fell. Winning just these seven would have meant a wonderful night for Republicans… but they look likely to win the runoff in Louisiana (on Dec. 6th) and at this moment (2am) look likely to win Alaska. We’ll have to wait to hear on Virginia which is likely headed to a recount.
Second we held off opposition attacks in our most vulnerable Senate and Governor races (except Pennsylvania). In Georgia, Kentucky and Kansas the Republicans who looked so ripe for defeat all EASILY defeated their opponents. In Kentucky, Mitch McConnell won by 15+ points! In Georgia David Perdue won by 8 points and in Kansas Pat Roberts won by more than 10 points. It’s hard to understand why we were even worried in these states….
Third, The Republicans grew their lead in the House of Representatives by double digits. At the time of writing there were still many seats that were undecided by the Republicans had already gained 11 seats in the House and looked likely to pick up at least a few more. The Republicans now have their largest contingent in the House since WWII.
Fourth, the Governor’s races. If there was going to be a silver lining for Democrats it was going to be in the Governor’s races and things looked good for Democrats a couple of weeks ago. But that all changed in the last few days… Voters used the Governor’s races to send a very loud message to the Democrats.
Republicans seemed to be in trouble in Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine, Florida, Georgia and Kansas. In all of these races the polls were within the margins of error and the wind seemed to be at the Democrats back… but the GOP held on to ALL of these races. (They did lose Pennsylvania where Governor Corbett was a big underdog.) However, there was more good news for Republicans in traditionally BLUE states – in Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois Republicans won the Governor’s mansions much to everyone’s surprise. At the time of writing more liberal states seemed ready to hand the GOP their Governor’s mansions as well – Connecticut, Colorado and Vermont were all too close to call at 2:30am. If the GOP were to win all 3 they’d end Election Day having picked up 6 new Governor’s mansions… something no one thought possible just a couple of days ago.
To sum it all up… this was a very good Election Day for the GOP. But now we have to prepare for 2016. We must begin laying the groundwork to win a National Election in the very near future.We have to improve our numbers among African-Americans, they make up 13% of the vote in Presidential election years and they vote 90% of the time with the Democrats! We have to improve our numbers among Latino’s, who also move heavily towards the Democrat Party (but whom conservatives have already made inroads with). We have to remind women, who make up the majority of the electorate, that they are not one issue voters and that Republicans are better equipped to handle the issues that are important to women.
Whatever happens next, the GOP needs to keep one eye to the future as they make their decisions now.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com