Despite the media spin, this result was not a surprise; all predictions had the Republicans winning the Senate.
This is not to say there were not surprises. Some races that everyone thought were safe were clearly not — a few Democrats scraped by with much smaller margins than the polls indicated — Proving again that the polls are not always right.
Presidents always lose seats in the midterms, and especially during their second term. The only time that has not happened was under Bill Clinton when the GOP showed how crazy they were with their impeachment efforts. The Republicans were smarter this time — they’ve saved the ridiculous impeachment crap for after the election.
For some reason, voters in Pennsylvania had enough of their Republican governor, whose fiscal policies drove our state into a ditch, and voted him out by a huge margin. They then re-elected all the Republican House and Senate members who enabled him to do all that damage. Go figure.
Elderly voters (who are much more likely to be conservative, Republican, and Fox-Viewing) came out to vote in record numbers, comprising 37% of the vote. Voters under 30 (and much more likely to be liberal and Democratic)? Just 12%. We only have ourselves to blame. They vote, we don’t, and they win.
The Republican effort to disenfranchise voters, combined with an unprecedented effort to gerrymander districts to give them a huge advantage, seems to be working well for them.
The Republicans constantly argued that we needed to elect them to fix the economy — ignoring the fact that the economy is doing much better under Obama than it has under any President in the last 40 years (including Reagan). States that have Republican governors are almost uniformly the ones with the worst economies. Somehow, the fact that Republicans won by lying about the economy doesn’t seem to bother them in the slightest.
Ironically, all the ballot initiatives that won were liberal initiatives supported by Democrats — higher minimum wage, marijuana legalization, women’s reproductive rights … Poll after poll shows that people support Democratic issues. Democrats just have been unable to take advantage of this.
Lost among all the election news: a court in Kansas struck down their anti-marriage statute, pushing Kansas into the 21st Century.
Now the Democrats will filibuster everything, and we’re once more left with a Congress that will do nothing. But, as I argued a few days ago, this will only last for two years.