The Republican Mid-Term Sweeps: Doing The Numbers

Posted on by Phil Querin

CongressIn a recent Wall Street Journal article by reporter Rebecca Ballhaus (“GOP to Control Senate for First Time Since ’06 After Midterm Election Sweep”) one gets a graphic picture of the breadth of the Republicans’ mid-term 2014 victory.  Here’s the scorecard, by the numbers: 

  • “…Republicans emerged from November’s midterm elections with a majority in the Senate and a firmer hold on the House, giving the party control of both chambers of Congress for the first time since 2006.”
  • The GOP picked up nine Senate seats and will now hold a majority of 54 seats; the Democrats’ will hold 46. The Dems’ loss in the Senate “…represented the biggest in the chamber that any president’s party had suffered since 1958, during Dwight Eisenhower’s second term.”
  • In the House, Republicans now have 247 seats, “…the largest majority either party has held since 1931.”
  • In the states, the GOP picked up 11 legislative chambers, “…and now control 68 of the nation’s 98 partisan chambers on the state level, the highest number in the party’s history. In all, Democrats have lost more than 900 seats in state legislatures during Mr. Obama’s time in office.”
  • Following the 2008 election, 28 of the state governors were Dems. Today, there are 17.
  • Also, after the 2008 election, “…31 state attorneys general were Democrats. Now, the party has 23.”
  • “…23 states will have both a Republican governor and a GOP-controlled state legislature in 2015, while just seven states will be under similar Democratic control.”
  • “The elections also moved the GOP closer to a total takeover of the South. In January, Republicans will control 19 of 22 Senate seats from the South, and 101 of the 138 House seats.”

Gosh, if I were Mr. Obama after that rout, I think I’d quietly skip town for a long vacation in Hawaii.  Wait…he did!

The Take-Away.  What seems interesting to me is that some in the Democratic Party appear not to have heard the mid-term message.  According to the Journal article, “Liberals have largely rallied behind Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her call for a focus on income inequality and efforts to rein in the financial-services sector and other interests.”

This shibboleth is wearing very thin.  Personally, I’m tiring of Ms. Warren’s finger-wagging.  While it is clear the Dems are pushing her up the leadership ladder, her message is strident, accusatory, and stokes the flames of class warfare. Enough already!  We all agree that Wall Street greed caused the financial meltdown in 2008; we all agree that millions of average Americans suffered, and are still suffering.  But continuing to beat that drum, rather than look for collaborative solutions, is wrong-headed.  Time to move on, sans the blame game.  If the Dems believe this mantra is their ticket to popularity, they haven’t read the tea leaves.

The WSJ article also noted: “Centrist Democrats say the party can best draw voters by focusing foremost on plans to promote broad economic growth, with some fearing that an inequality message would alienate some voters.”  Very good point, and one to heed, since clearly the bulk of the Republican Party wants to prove to the American public that with their leadership, gridlock will finally become a thing of the past.  Let’s hope so. It would be a shame to squander this huge mid-term victory with internal bickering.

And if Mr. Obama doesn’t want to play nice, fine. He can hang out in Hawaii with his pen and phone. ~PCQ

Posted in Miscellany, Politics, Q-Rants | Tagged
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