How did this come about?
As I noted earlier in the summer, Republicans had geography on their side. The states of Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia, South Dakota, Alaska, Colorado and North Carolina all had Democrat Senators who were elected on Obama’s initial momentum in 2008. I predicted most of those states were going to go Republican in the senate race. Iowa also went Republican as well. In energy resource rich states such as West Virginia, South Dakota, and Alaska all voted for Republican Senators which were picked up from Democrats. North Carolina, Iowa, and Arkansas had a strong dislike for the President and chose Republicans for their senate race.
Governor Pick up’s in New England and other democrat states.
New England which had only two Republican members of the Senate and House delegations to Congress now has a total of two current senators and two member of congress from New Hampshire and Maine. Before Tuesday, the New England states only had one Republican Governor, four Democrats, and one Independent. Now the composition is 2 Republican Governors (with a pickup in Massachusetts) and 4 Democrats. The results that came in showed closer than normal margins in Rhode Island, Vermont, and Connecticut. The polls that came out regarding these races had the races very competitive or in some instances the Republican in the lead in an area where Democrats have easy wins. Obama’s approval ratings in the region had dipped slightly over the last 2 years, but still remained at or above 50% and only below 50%.
In the deep blue state of Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy who some have referred to as a “Progressive dream” came narrowly close to losing to businessman Tom Foley. Dan Malloy who imposed some of the toughest gun laws in the country after the tragedy at Sandy Hook and implemented very progressive economic policies was granted another term by 2%. In Illinois and Maryland, Republicans picked up the Governor’s seat there. Governor Pat Quinn who is the incumbent Governor of Illinois only won Cook County in Chicago out of the entire state.
The King of the Swing States: Florida
Florida is my home state so I get to have a say on the Governor’s race here. Florida is also the king of the swing states in my opinion. When someone wins a statewide race here, it is by a narrow margin and it is not an easy fight. The race between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist was an extremely hard fight down the last few percent of precincts reporting in. The Incumbent Rick Scott who focused his first term on jobs and the economy won a second term as Governor of the Sunshine State. Charlie Crist former Republican governor turned Democrat ran against Governor Scott with a campaign focusing on the heavily Democrat area of Miami. The Crist campaign brought in big names like Bill Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama to rally voters, but did not succeeded. In the polls, the race was statically tied with Rick Scott and Charlie Crist running to the same exact percentage points. In the end Rick Scott was able to pull off a really tough win by 1% or 66, 128 votes. While Crist was in South Florida, Rick Scott focused on more conservative northern counties and pushed turnout in central Florida.
Discontent for Obama or better Republican Senate Candidates?
Here is one of the main questions of the entire Senate flip; did the senate flip because of President Obama or better Republican candidates? Many pundits in the United States have referred to the Senate flipping to the GOP as a referendum on President Obama and his infamous health care the Affordable Care Act also known as “Obamacare”. All new US senators’ candidates campaigned vigorously on repealing Obamacare. The Republican National Committee stated that both the RNC’s revived ground game and American disapproval for Obama’s policies were the main reasons for the Republican wave. To say that the Republican put up better candidates, would show that the campaigns and races would have been easier to win the races would not have been as close. That didn’t happen. I am sure the candidates had many good qualities, but mostly the reason for the flip was the discontent for Obama.
What is next?
With the US congress in Republican hands, it is safe to say that many bills will be passed in both houses. If President Obama and the new Congress work together is still in question. The 114th Congress does not get officially formed until January. For Republicans 2014 brings momentum for 2016. Here in America, it seems we never stop campaigning. I just hope that this next congress, we can start governing.
***If anyone has any questions on a particular race or anything else in general about the US midterms, my twitter handle is @Sguntek2.***
Staz Guntek II