One week ago, predictions on the outcome of Election Day were as numerous as the races themselves. Many pundits believed the Republican Party would seize control of both houses of Congress, while others thoughts the Democrats could maintain a slight majority. Still more predicted a race that was simply ‘too-close-to-call’ and could go to either side.
But of all those projections, few if any foresaw the one-sided outcome that flipped the balance of the Senate—and with it, the U.S. Congress—for President Obama’s last two years in office.
The Republicans dominated the day, turning a 55-45 deficit in the Senate into a 53-46 majority—with one more seat likely to ‘turn red’ in Louisiana. GOP challengers took seats from Democratic incumbents in:
The Louisiana race will be decided in a December 6 ‘run-off’, with Republican Bill Cassidy widely expected to upend incumbent Democrat Mary Landrieu. If this comes to fruition, the Republicans would hold a 54-46 majority—a shocking turnaround from the start of Obama’s presidency, when the Democrats held a 58-42 majority.
The party also extended its majority in the House of Representatives to an astonishing 60 seats (with seven races still to be decided.) Like the Senate, this represents an eye-popping reversal from the start of the Obama administration, when the Democrats held a 79-seat majority in the House.
What’s more, GOP gubernatorial candidates scored upset victories in traditionally blue states such as Maryland, Massachusetts and even President Obama’s home state of Illinois. ‘Swing’ state races in Ohio and Michigan also went the way of the Republicans. In fact, perhaps the lone bright spot for the Democrat party came from Pennsylvania, where challenger Tom Wolf unseated Republican incumbent Tom Corbett.
What made the elections so one-sided? Many of the aforementioned predictions believed the Republicans would take control of the Senate, but the ease with which it happened seemed to stun most experts. Did President Obama’s low approval rating spell doom for his entire party?
“I think this was an across-the-board rejection [of Obama’s policies],” said political insider Dick Morris on last week’s Crash Proof Retirement Show. “But also, a lot of union members, blue-collar workers—a number of these voters went back over to the Republican side. A lot of young voters also turned against the Democrats.”
With the midterm elections decided, the countdown is officially on to the 2016 presidential election. Numerous Republican names have been discussed and debated as possible challengers to the incumbent party and their likely nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton. If last week is any indication, Mrs. Clinton has a long road ahead of her if she hopes to follow in her husband’s footsteps.