I wasn’t sure there would be a clear message from Tuesday’s election, but it was actually very clear. The country is “so over Obama.”
Republicans were expected to win control of the Senate, but by only one or two seats, not three or four. Republican Senate candidates did better than the average of pre-election polls in nearly every state they won: Kansas, Alaska, and Georgia, to name a few.
Voters gave Republicans the largest majority the House since 1946.
Democrats were expected to pick up a few governors’ seats, but instead they lost a net three, including Obama’s home state of Illinois, and two other traditionally blue states – Maryland and Massachusetts. In Wisconsin, Scott Walker won his third election in four years, each time beating organization of unions around the state and the nation. In Illinois, the incumbent Democrat was defeated by a Republican who ran a private equity firm, to add a twist of irony to the home-state insult.
Republicans nationalized the Senate race as a single issue – a referendum on President Obama’s policies and performance in office. They offered nothing to voters except “not Obama,” and they outperformed expectations. After a heated argument with Mitch McConnell, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas begrudgingly fired his long-time campaign manager and hired a young-gun who tied Robert’s opponent to Obama – and Roberts turned a “likely loss” into a 9-point victory.
Mitt Romney said on Sunday that Tuesday would be the “last chance for America to pass judgment on the Obama administration,” and America did just that – mainly in congressional races, but the anti-Obama sentiment spilled over into governor’s races too, and that will benefit Republican candidates for President in 2016.
Obama even added to the GOP message when he said “My name won’t be on the ballot, but my policies are – every one of them.”
Last night was the best night for the Republican Party in years, and it’s all because the country is “so over” President Obama. America is not in love with Republicans – not by a long shot. They don’t even know what Republicans stand for anymore. But America passed judgment last night on the Obama administration.
And, they invited Republicans to offer them something better.