Some contests are yet to be called including Virginia, Alaska, and Louisiana (runoff on Dec. 6) as of this moment. However, the writing is on the wall and Republicans will control the US Senate in the next Congress holding at least 54 seats in the chamber.

Taking a look at the fallout, from the perspective of the 2016 Presidential Election, it’s clear there are some very discernible winners and losers which will begin to shape the 2016 landscape. First, the winners of the night.

Winners

1. Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin)

Walker was getting dangerously close to a loss in recent weeks yet managed to pull out a very convincing 52% to 47% victory over his Democratic opponent. This was a kitchen sink election with national Democrats throwing everything they had to unseat the union-busting GOP darling. For Walker, this means his 2016 ambitions are on track if he chooses to pursue them. He’s got a 3 and 0 winning record now in one of the toughest environments for a Republican.

2. Republican Governors in general

Aside from Walker in Wisconsin, Republicans won some very tough races for the executive seat in Illinois (!), Maryland (!), Massachusetts (!), Maine, Michigan, Georgia, Nevada, Iowa, and Arkansas. There are other GOP gubernatorial wins as well but they were less competitive. Susana Martinez’s re-election in New Mexico is worth noting also since she has been floated as a possible 2016 contender.

3. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)

McConnell will become the Senate Majority Leader next year and he too won a hard fought race which saw his lead dwindle to the low single digits in recent weeks. However, the voters told a different story and handed him a massive 56% to 41% victory over his Democratic opponent.

Losers

1. President Obama and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada)

Obviously the President will be stuck dealing with a GOP-majority in Congress for the remaining two years of his presidency. This isn’t too surprising as it often happens to Presidents in their second term. Senator Harry Reid will have to relinquish the Majority Leader position and basically become irrelevant on the national stage.

2. Hillary Clinton

This one is debatable but I think it’s worth noting that many candidates running nationally spotlighted races which campaigned with Bill and Hillary Clinton came up short. Most notably in Arkansas which rejected incumbent Mark Pryor in favor on Republican Tom Cotton by a strong 57% to 39%. The Clintons were all over Arkansas in recent weeks campaigning for Pryor and he lost big.

Same story in Maryland where Democratic Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown campaigned with Hillary only a few short days ago. Maryland voters sent the Democrats packing and put Republican Larry Hogan in the Governor’s seat by a 54% to 45% margin. President Obama also campaigned with Brown but it didn’t seem to help, it may have actually hurt.

Repeat this in Kentucky where Hillary Clinton personally stumped for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes only days ago. Grimes, as noted, went down in a blazing defeat by Republican Mitch McConnell. I think Grimes should ask for her money back.

Also repeat in Georgia where Hillary campaigned for Democrat Michelle Nunn who will go down 53% to 45% at the hands of Republican David Perdue. Georgia was a race Democrats thought they could win so this was a significant loss.

The list continues, I don’t have the space for it all. Here’s a link from ABC 7 which chronicles the list of candidates supported by the Clintons and how they turned out.

3. Charlie Crist (D)

Crist was unable to make a political comeback in Florida barely losing to incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott by 48% to 47%. This was a race where neither candidate was very well liked but Crist was slightly less liked than Scott.

4. Political family dynasties

Jeb Bush, take note. Candidates in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, and Alaska lost or will end up losing despite their family history in state politics. Take Georgia for example. Democrat Michelle Nunn was running for a position held by her father, Sam Nunn, from 1972 to 1997. Name recognition can help but didn’t push her over the line. The same for Democrat Jason Carter running for Governor in Georgia. Yes, he’s the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, but that also wasn’t enough to carry the day. Democrat Mark Pryor in Arkansas also has a long history in the state, as does Democrat Mark Begich in Alaska, yet both are going down in defeat.

The only bright spot in this area may be Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York where the voters just love voting for anyone named Cuomo.

Mixed Results

These are neither winners nor losers yet the 2014 race will shape their political futures.

1. Scott Brown (R)

Brown came dangerously close to beating Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire but fell just short. This was an amazing accomplishment that will keep his name in the running for a continued future in New England politics.

To Be Determined

1. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Ed Gillespie (R)

This was a race in which polls were giving Mark Warner a 20 point lead at the end of summer. Gillespie slowly chipped away at this lead and now the race is only separated by around 12,000 votes with 95% precincts reported. The results haven’t been finalized yet but I think Warner will eek this one out and retain his seat. This will keep Warner relevant into the 2016 veep-stakes and beyond. However, Ed Gillespie just cemented his place in Virginia politics for years to come running a come-from-behind race down to the wire in a state which was considered either “likely” or “solidly” blue depending on who you asked. This race could be headed for a recount, we’ll know in coming days.

Conclusion

There you have it, there is definitely room for debate and discussion on these points. What was your take away from last night heading into 2016? I didn’t even mentioned Speaker John Boehner who oversaw a 14 seat pickup in the House of Representatives, a largely unreported story of the night. Boehner could also be listed as a winner.

I’d like to also point out that my prediction of a 54 (R) to 46 (D) result will likely turn out to be 100% correct once Alaska and Louisiana eventually go red and Virginia stays blue.

My terribly safe guess: 54 (R) to 46 (D) when we’re done.

RCP map of how I think it shakes out: http://goo.gl/qtrh7G

Victory is sweet.

38 COMMENTS

  1. The conclusion i draw from this is that conservatism is alive and well in the country, libertarianism is on the rise, and liberalism is once again being shown as what America doesn’t want.

    To me this is a further step in what started in the 80’s with Reagan, 90’s with Republican revolution, 2000’s with Republicans elected to legislative and executive branches, the rejection of moderating republicans in 2006, greater republican revolution in 2010, holding fast in 2012 and now once again in 2014…possibly a record majority in the house…basically conservatism is continuing to expand.

    This is no longer a turn toward Republicans. It was a turn towards republicans up until around 2005 when the ‘Establishment’ (as they’re called) true colors were revealed and quickly rejected.

    Obama’s election may be seen as an anomaly in this historic national shift away from absolute trust in the Democrat party (which started with Roosevelt, continued with Kennedy and has been taking a dive since Roe v. Wade and Jimmy Carter). Now conservatives have shifted their trust away from the republican name, and will be supporting people based on issue going forward.

    Having a D next to your name will be problematic going forward, unless the ones with the R betray the trust once again and the conservative supporters stay home or the libertarian rise shoots for a 3rd party.

    To me this is further evidence that the gov’t needs to get on one of 2 trains – conservative or libertarian – otherwise we’ll be going through this roller coster ride for the foreseeable future. The country no longer has stomach for Liberals who want to punish one group to help another or Moderates who just want to get along.

  2. I disagree on Scott Brown. He only won in Mass because Dems took the seat for granted. And he only came close in NH because (a) Dems took the seat for granted, and (b) it was a wave election.

    He’s way too liberal for the GOP and too much of an opportunist (carpetbagger) to have any future in New England. Not to mention being a two-time loser. RIP.

    Otherwise, I pretty much agree. But while I’m not a big fan of Hillary, I think the positive of fighting for candidates is much more a plus than the fact that THEY failed to get elected. Also, if you’re going to say she’s a loser, you should make WIllard a winner, since he was all over the place–the way Nixon was in 1966 (my guess is you won’t remember that).

    And, finally, Republicans now run the House, Senate, and Supreme Court. People are going to expect them to make their personal life better for them (people think politicians are responsible for making life better for them). Downside is that the Senate is still designed to be powerless, and the Prez still has the veto. Yet, the perception will be that everything from ISIS to Ebola to oil pipeline breaks, to any dip in the economy will be “THEIR fault.” Be careful what you wish for.

    Reminds me of the old Robert Redford movie, “The Candidate.” The movie is all about campaigning. He wins. But as he wins, he suddenly looks lost, and says, (if I remember correctly), “Now what do we do??”

    • I get your point on Brown, hence why he was a mixed bag, not a winner or loser but he came back from 20 points down which is pretty good in spite of the shortfalls you mentioned.

      Yes, point taken on Romney. He was all over the place and likely helped several candidates. Can he be a 2016 dark horse now? I hope so, it’ll be endless blogging.

      Another topic I thought of adding to the loser list is the “war on women.” It failed spectacularly in Colorado specifically, but also in other races around the country. In my home turf in the 10th congressional district of Virginia, it failed as well (against a woman).

      You’re also right on the pitfalls of controlling congress without the presidency. I wonder though, at this point, Obama has blamed the GOP for so long yet it doesn’t seem to resonate anymore. Hence the victories last night.

      • Naw. Brown’s dead meat. In addition to failing during a wave and looking like (being) an opportunist, he also ran against a lousy campaigner. Look at Michigan. The GOP took everything but the kitchen sink, but their senatorial candidate was trounced. And the winner was a lousy campaigner, too!

        Jon Stewart will also love if Romney runs, too. He is a ridiculous caricature of the “banker” image that lost elections from 1932 to 1968 (Ike doesn’t count, since he was courted by both parties and won because he was “won the war”).

        Dems, in general, are lousy campaigners. Udall was an idiot. He should have been seeking votes he needed, not ones he could count on. The “war on women” will be back as soon as someone rants about birth control, abortion, minimum wage, and saying that women don’t deserve equal pay.

        Another thing that Republicans should remember is that Congress has a favorability rating one third LOWER than Obama’s.

        http://www.pewresearch.org/data-trend/political-attitudes/congressional-favorability/

          • It was just an off-hand remark. Could have been minimum wage or child-care issues.

            But I do remember some Republican saying a few years ago that women don’t deserve equal pay because they’re unreliable–getting pregnant, and all that. . . .

  3. Here’s my take on the election:

    Seeing that the RNC/GOP didn’t articulate any vision of governing once they won, the quote by Sarah Palin to the party “You didn’t build that” (see the article below) fits the circumstances. Circumstances is how the republicans won as witnessed by 68% of the nation claiming the country is going in the wrong direction. The nation wasn’t voting for the republicans or for any party they were voting against the continued dysfunction, visionless, corruption in government and the Democrats just happened to be the ones in the majority. President Obama wanted to transform America not only by policy but by restoring faith in government. The widening sphere of government control has continued in direct proportion to actual government incompetence. If the republicans don’t show any leadership in the next two years they will be the fall guys. Will President Obama change now that he doesn’t have either House of Congress? I’ll bet it doesn’t change him one iota. In his six years in office he has shown a complete disrespect for republicans and has openly attempted to destroy them. In addition he has displayed a stubbornness for changing his mind no matter what his own advisors say. The two things that do scare me are the establishment republicans will believe the country is infatuated by their B.S. and not only ignore the Tea Party prior to 2016 but WAGE ANOTHER WAR AGAINST THEM. The second item of concern is the establishments obsession with the word “COMPROMISE” since last night. The results of any COMPROMISE will only be held by the party in the majority …hence the republican party. My advice? Compromise like they did with you in 2006 !

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/05/sarah-palin-warns-gop_n_6105208.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

  4. Upon further review:

    I have an extreme distrust for politicians who move to states simply to run in an available open slot no matter what their political leanings. Therefore perhaps we will see carpetbagger Scott Brown move to Vermont, Maine or Rhode Island and try his luck there next?

    Perhaps Charlie Christ will get the idea he isn’t the answer the good people of Florida are looking for ….in any party in any position!

    The Democrats stuck with Rep. Pelosi as Minority leader after they lost the House will they stick with Sen. Reid as Minority leader in the Senate also?

  5. The Democ-rats started deserting the sinking ship Barackitanic, like rats do, long before the election. To no avail.

    America’s verdict was unequivocal — If we can get rid of King Rat, let’s at least get rid of his vermin!

    The vote had little to do with favoring the Repubs, it was mostly that we had had enough of the Criminals in Office, and their Lawless Democrooked Government!

    It was the death-nail of hyper-liberalism, a total rejection of the Dems socialist agenda, and a warning to Repubs that we DEMAND a Restoration of our Nation to its Original Principles — The Rule of Law; Affirmation that the US Constitution is UNTOUCHABLE; that Government may-or-may-not be the friend of Free Citizens, but BIG Government is DEFINITELY the ENEMY off All People!

    More to follow…..

    • Democrats are idiots. It does no good to trash your own leader. Karl Rove would have told them to be in-your-face about issues, saying that Obama tried to do good, but Congress blocked him. That would have been an arguable case. Instead, they scurried around, looking ineffectual.

      I think Gore would have won resoundingly in 2000 if he had bragged about what “he did” as part of the Clinton administration. And had Clinton fight with him. Instead, he trotted around with “Joementum” and seemed like just another challenger, instead of a quasi-incumbent.

  6. We need to thank Obama for opening our eyes!

    No other president has done more harm to our Nation, thus causing more distrust and hate of the Government. From thinking that Government was just a nuisance — to finding out that under Obama the Government has actually become the Enemy of The People.

    Thank you Obama — because of your Lawlessness, Americans have set unheard of before records in purchasing guns and ammo.

    Thank you Obama — because of your Lawlessness, Americans realized that without the 2nd Amendment you tried so hard to negate, there will be no valid check to stop you from destroying the rest of the US Constitution!

    Thank you Obama — for showing your true colors in these lamentable six years of your Dictatorship (with your helpful lapdog, Harry Reid) …RED!
    ———————————————————————————-
    And a REAL Thank You to the American People for finally saying: “Bye, bye Obamanites”!

  7. If you think that Obama will cooperate with the GOP controlled Houses — you are sadly mistaken.

    Six years ago you were forewarned that Obama is a narcissistic, megalomaniacal psychopath (as a child he wrote on his school steps: “King Obama”) — and it took this long for the voters to find this out.

    Obama will delay all bills by any means: he’ll talk nonsense, complain, posture, pout, do whatever it takes for a cornered vicious animal to survive, but will NEVER agree in the end to do anything that is NOT HIS WILL!

    The biggest mistake Repubs will make — and that’s a guarantee — is to trust Obama on anything he says!

    • The only thing that will make Obama more hated by the GOP would be for him to mimic Clinton–and take credit for every bill that comes to his desk.

  8. Upon Further Review 2:

    If President Obama didn’t learn a lesson after the drubbing he received in the 2010 mid-term elections what would make us assume he will change now? The President states that he wants to have a bourbon with Sen. McConnell and play some golf with Speaker Boehner but who doesn’t doubt that through his arrogance it’s only have them listen to how they should fold to his wishes? After all isn’t he the one who was pronouncing that the election was about his policies for months but now denies that it was? The final wake up call would be if the President grants immigration amnesty through executive orders as is threatened it will show the republican Congress he has no intentions of working together for America as he claims.

  9. The democrats are solely responsible for the Republican sweep. You couldn’t find a Democrat that admitted knowing President Barrack Obama much less having voted for him. Republicans didn’t run against their actual opponent. They campaigned against a black man, President Obama. Not one candidate could find the fortitude to step to the plate, defend him, and say this is what he (we) did for the people:

    The government last week reported that the economy grew at a 3.5 percent
    annual pace in the third quarter of this year.

    Claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 278,000 for the week ending Nov. 1, the Labor Department said Thursday.

    Private payrolls increased 230,000 in October, for a record seven straight
    months of job gains exceeding 200,000.

    People receiving benefits declined 39,000 to 2.35 million in the week ended Oct. 25, the lowest level since December 2000. The unemployment rate for people receiving jobless benefits was at 1.8 percent for an eighth straight week.

    The next two years will be interesting. Even more interesting will be how history records him.

    • I think history will be kind to both Bush and Obama. Both faced huge challenges and acted. While both made mistakes, history will primarily remember a bold response to 9/11 and prevention of a second, multi-decade world-wide depression.

    • This is really Valerie Jarrett isn’t it?
      What ever makes your toes curl. Obviously no matter how you slice it the American public was feed up with incompetence.

    • They campaigned against a black man, President Obama.

      The racist argument is tired. Republicans campaigned against him in 2008 and 2012 also but I don’t think it made a difference so please, spare us all from sophomoric statements on race.

      Once I hit the racist line, it’s not worth reading any further because you set a pretty low bar for the rest of your comment.

      In 2006, Democrats ran against a white man, President Bush. So what?

      • Nate…Acting “color blind” is an excuse for being blind to racism. In the quintessentially Southern states– Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia — Barack Obama lost 85.5 percent or more of the white vote. Racism did not go away when Barrack Obama became president. Or when Oprah earned her first billion or when President Clinton honored Rosa Parks. Or when George W Bush lapsed into TexMex seeking the Mexican vote. Or at a party, where Muslim guests have a corner all to themselves. Or we wonder how to mix the Asian guests at the dining table. To accuse me of making sophomoric statements shows strong cultural hostility. Another form of prejudice.
        If your mind, heart, and soul is free from all forms of prejudice and racism, I salute you.

        • Tess — lying again..

          Tess Liehard says: “Barack Obama lost 85.5 percent or more of the white vote. Racism did not go away when Barrack Obama became president.”

          Here are the correct figures nationwide (not just for your dogmatically chosen portion):

          Whites 72% for Romney — Blacks 93% for Obama.

          So yes, racism is well and alive according to your take on percentages — only it is reversed!

          Further prof that Obama is an anti-white racist — hiring mostly blacks for all positions in his Gov (Eric Holder is now to be replaced by a black woman….).

          http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/elections/how_groups_voted/voted_12.html

          So, who is actually racist now…?!

        • Nor did I say racism ended. It is alive and well, mainly in the form of politicians and individuals who think that people should vote a certain way due to the color of the skin.

          I hate to agree, but Surf is correct.

          Whites 72% for Romney — Blacks 93% for Obama.

          Please explain why one set of statistics constitutes overt racism while another set does not.

        • I apologize for labeling your comments as sophomoric.

          I realize that it’s easier to look at this as losing due to racism than losing on the issues.

          • We all know that the people who voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012 didn’t wake up last Tuesday and decided to put their Klan robes on and thus swing the election. In fact I don’t think Tess and Goethe believe the racism sophomoric slogans Tess is spouting. It’s all about pouring cold water on a winners parade and yanking some ones chain. Of course all this won’t stop the Democrats from lowering the unemployment rolls by hiring 12 to 15 women to say they had sex with Dr. Ben Carson when he declares he’s running in 2016.

            • I was speaking in generalities. I don’t think race played a big part in the election last week, and I don’t think Tess meant that, either. Unfortunately, she threw in one word that others could jump on.

              That led to the question of racism–totally separate from the election.

              Nothing I said was meant to throw water on your fragile ego. I was just having some sympathy for Tess, while you seem intent on kicking her while she’s down.

            • Dude:
              No ones attempting to “kick her when she’s down”. As I pointed out once before if you want take a position on an issue you might get called out on it when someone disagrees. You seem more offended than she does!

          • Technically speaking, Tess did NOT say anyone voted against Obama because he’s black. She just pointed out that he is. It would be like saying when people voted against, “the voted against a Texan.” She did not say it was the main reason for their vote.

            On the other hand, when I first saw her comment, I knew there would be a sh*tstorm. The only people who claim there’s no racism to racist to recognize it. And, yes, I mean on both sides.

            • “TECHNICALLY SPEAKING”?????
              If racism wasn’t the point she was trying to make then why even bring up he’s black ? Then she follows up with another post to Nate explaining racism in America.Talk about attempting to back track for damage control Goethe.

          • There appears to be no way to determine which set of statistics constitutes overt racism. It depends on which set you read and how you interrupt what you read. You are right about Whites 72% for Romney — Blacks 93% for Obama. But you forgot to add 71% of the Hispanic vote went to Obama…53% of the women”s vote went to Obama. I do not know the other minorities percentage.

            Someone has their head under the sand to say that Obama is anti-white. His entire Cabinet, for both terms, had only one Black man, Eric Holder. Presidents Bush and Reagan had more Black people in their Cabinets than President Obama. The Congressional Black Caucus (as well as Bloomberg, Washington Post, New York Times} have been openly critical that President Obama is failing to appoint qualified Black people.

            Exactly what were the state issues put forth in the past election (excluding marijuana)? All Republican candidates campaigned against President Obama, even Karl Rove is now taking credit for that brainstorm, which was a winner.

            No apology necessary. I am neither a Republican or a Democrat. I am an Independent voter. I am, also, an American which gives me and you..and you…the right to speak without being met with rancor and false accusations.

            • Surfisher aside, nobody condones his insulting rants..

              You know what stifles civil debate? Dropping the race card to explain election results. Then following it up by calling people “discriminatory” if they disagree with your assertions.

              The argument boils down to this: “People who voted this way are probably racist, and if you don’t agree, you’re probably racist. And if you say you’re not, you’re probably racist and don’t even know it.”

              In other words, if someone doesn’t hold the right view or vote the right way… it MUST be racism as there can be no other explanation.

              News flash: Not everyone looks at skin color the way you do.

              It makes you sound like you sit on your island and someone gave you the responsibly, due to your infallibility, to label things as racist where you see appropriate.

              I’m absolutely sick of it. It’s insulting.

              So how many of those 85.5% of votes “against the black man” in the South went to Tim Scott in South Carolina? Just curious. I know.. I know, that doesn’t matter because.. racist!

              I entirely regret giving this thread legitimacy.

            • Well, Nate, only the Pope can lay claim to infallibility so I apologize if you feel I was treading on that island. I look upon skin color as an unchangeable act of God, totally unrelated to that person’s character traits. Tim Scott and Mia Love’s historic election wins are great for this Country.

              If you were insulted by my remarks, it was unintentional. I have been treated with gross insensitivity, contemptuous rudeness on these pages so I can feel your pain.

              You are probably to young to remember but Joan Baez sang it well:
              No man is an island No man stands alone
              Each man’s joy is joy to me
              Each man’s grief is my own

              We need one another So I will defend
              Each man as my brother
              Each man as my friend

    • Tess — thank you for finally exposing yourself for the hyper-liberal that we all knew you are (even Goethe can’t help you here).

      Having lost all logical arguments for the Democ-rats monumental losses, you are reduced to playing the old-and-tired “race card”….LOL!!!

      Please, keep on posting your defunct liberal stances — you, and your likes, did contribute greatly in opening the eyes of the American People, thus further helping in the complete rejection of the Dems Dead Liberal Dogma, and assuring their end!

      Thank you!

      • Surf: Cut her some slack. Democrats are totally humiliated, and are clutching at straws to understand it–just like the GOP did in 2012. Look at Bob’s “old white men” illustration. Three out of three hundred million proves a point?

        The difference is that the GOP is much better at politics. The GOP actively solicited women, black, and Hispanic candidates, and changed the sound of their message–and image. By contrast, Dems just doubled-down, such as Udall’s pandering in Colorado.

        Dems will never learn the Karl Rove idea that if you are weak in an area–strike there. That neutralizes an attack before it begins.

      • Surfisher, you’re still on thin ice and you’re proving to be just as insulting and obnoxious as you have always been.

        Rather than simply call people liars, why don’t you refute with fact?

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