So apparently we had a little election yesterday. Let’s recap the story so far. We had this lovely hopeful Democratic party ready to put the Bush years behind them, roll up their sleeves, and get to work fixing the damage. Much the same way the Clinton’s did in the 90’s. But along the way, a complete unknown with no experience, and no real drive to do anything substantive, including bothering to vote for important policies, who had more funding than all of the well known candidates combined, from wall street, banks, and insurance companies funnily enough, made his way through the primaries, making a pathetic disaster of every debate by losing every one in the worst way, and got selected in a smoke filled back room, without even a roll call vote. Along the way, the base of the party who actually elected another candidate were told to suck it up or leave. Preferably leave. And of course, as most any candidate that wasn’t Bush would do, this guy became President. Then over the next two years he proceeded to do exactly the kinds of things he did in his previous career. Play golf, party, get others to do his work for him, and do pretty much what his backers wanted. Mostly he just golfed and really didn’t give a damn. Apparently, many of the “little people” expected a bit more out of him. Silly little people. And so, they got angry. They still hate the party of Bush, make no mistake about it, but now they hate this new group just as much, and yesterday they sent a little message.
For a good look at the races across the country, the NYT has great interactive maps. The main ones to look at are those for Senate, House, and Governor races. As you can see from those maps, especially the House map, we have a proverbial bloodbath. Especially important for 2012 is the Governor results. Notice that the important battleground states of PA, OH, and FL now have Republican governors. That will become more important for the next cycle because of get out the vote efforts, redistricting, among others.
CBS has an interesting article on why Democrats lost:
Core Democratic groups stayed away in droves Tuesday, costing Democratic House candidates dearly at the polls.
Hispanics, African Americans, union members and young people were among the many core Democratic groups that turned out in large numbers in the 2008 elections, propelling Mr. Obama and Democratic House candidates to sizable victories. In 2010, turnout among these groups dropped off substantially, even below their previous midterm levels.
Voters under the age of 30 comprised 18 percent of the electorate in 2008 and nearly 13 percent in 2006 but only made up 11 percent of the electorate in 2010. The share of voters from union households dropped from 23 percent in 2006 and 21 percent in 2008 to 17 percent in 2010. African Americans made up 13 percent of the electorate in 2008 but fell to 10 percent in 2010. Such apathy likely cost the Democrats House seats as voters in each of these groups cast ballots for Democratic House candidates by at least 15 point margins.
Mr. Obama proved to be a major liability in the 2010 election. Fifty-five percent of voters disapproved of the way the president is handling his job, including 58 percent of independents. Of those who disapproved of Obama, 86 percent voted for a Republican House candidate. Even more to the point, 37 percent of voters overall, as well as 37 percent of independents, claimed a reason for their House vote was to express opposition to Mr. Obama.
Voters were no happier with the Democratic-controlled Congress. A whopping 72 percent of voters disapproved of the way Congress is handling its job, including majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents. Of those who evaluated Congress negatively, 64 percent preferred a Republican House candidate to a Democratic House candidate in their local race.
It does go on to talk about the mixed message that the voters don’t really like Republican’s either.
After the resounding defeat, Obama gave a call to John Boehner, soon to be the new speaker of the House, to congratulate him:
He phoned the presumptive next House speaker, John Boehner, to offer congratulations. Boehner says the two agreed to work together, even though Republicans have vowed to turn back much of Obama’s agenda.
The Ohio Republican says they talked about working together on the priorities of the American people, and Boehner says he defined those priorities as cutting spending and creating jobs.
Hey, create jobs. Now there’s an idea. Too bad no one thought of that before.
Now brush yourself off, because today begins the Presidential campaign season for 2012.
We’ll keep this short since there is still a lot happening in a few last races, and we’ll update as we learn more, and as others do the inevitable blaming of the Clinton’s or pretending it’s not such a big deal after all. You know they will. Chime in with what you’re seeing outside of the election as well.