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Backlash: Results of the 2010 Mid-term Election

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For some, Election Night 2010 wasn’t the tsunami that conservatives were hoping for. But it was certainly not a good night for the Obama administration and their agenda. Let’s discuss some of the highs and lows of this historic election.

The Sunshine State Goes Deep Red

It’s difficult for anyone to discount the meteoric rise of Marco Rubio. Early on, it seemed he would lose in the primary to then-popular governor Charlie Crist. But before the primary election, Rubio surged in the polls from a double-digit deficit to a double-digit lead, forcing Crist to run as an Independent to salvage his political career. But on November 2nd, Rubio won handily, close to the 50% mark, defeating both Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.

In Florida’s 8th U.S. Congressional district, Daniel Webster was able to annihilate the despicable Alan Grayson by 18 points. Grayson had received bipartisan criticism for a television ad that mischaracterized Webster and referred to him as “Taliban Dan.” Lt. Col. Allen West, an African American Republican, won an 8 point victory over his Democratic opponent in District 22. Republican Rick Scott also prevailed over Alex Sink. All of these results indicate that an Obama victory in Florida will be much more difficult than in 2008.

The Spectre of Specter has vanished

In Pennsylvania, Republican Pat Toomey narrowly defeated Democrat Joe Sestak. Arlen Specter, who switched parties from Republican to Democrat just last year in order to avoid an inevitable defeat in the GOP primary, lost his own primary challenge in the Democratic primary. So instead of a liberal Republican or an Obama-favored Democrat, Pennsylvanians will now have a fiscally conservative Republican in Specter’s seat.

Wrong Angle

Sharron Angle’s TEA party support was not enough to prevail over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In spite of holding a razor-thin lead in most polling, Angle managed to lose by 5 points. In my opinion, Angle was not as strong a candidate as Sue Lowden or Danny Tarkanian would have been. As successful as the TEA party was on Election night, Angle’s loss indicates a weakness in their nationwide support.

Red in the Bluegrass

Rand Paul’s victory in Kentucky shows that personal attack ads, like the one waged by Jack Conway, do not pay off. Paul, the son of U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, won a major victory for the TEA party in the Senate. This, combined with Marco Rubio’s victory, shows that the TEA party is still a powerful force in the country.

Mountain State is still Blue

Republicans couldn’t flip former klansman Robert Byrd’s Senate seat into their column. However, West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin had to literally shoot the cap-and-trade bill and polish his conservative credentials in order to capture the seat. Not even Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent could lift Republican John Raese to victory.

All Dems and No Pot in California

Carly Fiorina gave a significant challenge to Barbara Boxer in California, but was still unsuccessful. Some diehard conservatives were disenchanted with Fiorina, still favoring Chuck DeVore. Sarah Palin was even criticized for her endorsement of Fiorina over DeVore. However, it would be difficult for any Republican to match Boxer’s strength in the Golden State. And, to the disappointment of many cannabis fans, a measure to legalize the sale of marijuana failed.

Obama’s seat no more

Republican Mark Kirk prevailed in Illinois, gaining Obama’s coveted Senate seat, the one that Rod Blagojevich tried to sell. This is particularly embarrassing to the Obama administration for a few reasons. For one, Illinois is a traditionally blue state and the possibility of a Republican winning would normally be rather doubtful. But also, the symbolic victory of taking away the seat that Obama held during his ascension to the presidency is a deep wound to the Democratic party.

Bearded Marxist over Supposed Witch

The fears of Karl Rove were realized in Delaware, where Chris Coons cruised to victory over the TEA party favorite Christine O’Donnell. It appears that now Harry Reid’s pet will join Reid in the Senate. O’Donnell’s campaign was well-funded, but she faced too many distractions to gain enough ground over Coons.

Other Observations

While it wasn’t the perfect night that conservatives hoped for, it was still a very special night for America. Good, principled people are going to represent the values of the people who have been so long ignored. In my own district, Martha Roby won her challenge against blue dog Democrat Bobby Bright. In my state of Alabama, we now have a Republican state legislature for the first time in 136 years. Every major statewide race here was captured by the GOP which, believe it or not, is quite rare for us.

But as for the rest of the country, I am delighted to see people like Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Allen West, Martha Roby, Kristi Noem, Pat Toomey, Daniel Webster, Mark Kirk and many other great conservative Americans who will champion the causes of the Constitution, individual freedom, and fiscal responsibility. The Obama agenda is now running on empty. I just hope that those who have been elected will live up to their potential and will stand up for the principles they were elected to uphold. If they do not, they are no better than those they have replaced.

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  • Jordan Moorer

    “I just hope that those who have been elected will live up to their potential and will stand up for the principles they were elected to uphold. If they do not, they are no better than those they have replaced.”

    Well said.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    The thing people forget about that Illinois Senate seat is that the Republicans basically threw the election in 2004 by running Alan Keyes against Obama after Jack Ryan withdrew. It was the only win of any note for the Democrats that year.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    My point, which I omitted to actually transfer from my skull to the comments box, is that Illinois isn’t as solidly blue as all that.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Like a lot of states, Illinois is deeply blue around its big cities and redder everywhere else.

    I predict that Marco Rubio will run for president and possibly win within a decade. I do not say this with a smile on my face. But he is a gifted politician who makes extremist politics palatable for the masses, a la Reagan.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    But the argument is, his appeal resonates the most with the old remnant of the anti-Castro Hispanics, surely a dying breed.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    That may be the starting point for his appeal, but it’s not the end point. He got votes across a lot of different demographics this week.

    At any rate, if he is as extreme on social issues [gay rights, abortion rights, teaching of creationism] as I believe, I hope that gets more coverage, so people know who he is.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    I seriously don’t think the extreme conservative message on social issues and wave-the-flag type of sentiment will resonate for much longer with the American electorate which is in thr process of significant demographic shit. While it’s true that the US population is increasingly growing older – it’s those people who are mostly responsible for the Republic/Tea Party resurgence – i’ts also true that they’re dying out. And thus far, neither the Republican or the Democratic agenda had done much to inspire the young. If anything, only the most progressive ideas will resonate in the near future, so I don’t see Rubio as having any significant future, unless we’re talking about the generations interim.

    Same with the likes of Boemer, an old guard when compared to Eric Cantor who is poised to become much more flexible as the situation may warrant and “progressive” (as far as conservatives go). But then again, Rubio’s performance thus far may well be but an instance of political posturing. Time will tell.

  • Baronius

    Roger – Maybe what you consider extreme seems reasonable to a lot of people. Really, your prediction of the next generation’s ideology is that they’ll agree with you. That’s a natural impulse to have, but it’s not grounded in anything. As much as I’d like to believe that the country is turning in my direction, the truth is that people pretty much believe what they have through most of my adult life. Racism has diminished, protectionism is less popular, and there’s a greater acceptance of homosexuality, but that’s about it.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    “That’s about it”!!?? Well, thanks for summing it all up for us.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Well,the very trends you’re citing, Baronius, show increasing secularization of society and increasing acceptance of liberal thought. The very attitudes we have today towards gays, for example, and other “controversial” issues would have been unthinkable a century ago. And it’s got less to do with what’s “reasonable” than with the fact that we’re constantly being exposed to new ideas and new thinking. As a result of this exposure, we ourselves undergo change.

  • Baronius

    Roger, I’m going to flinch on this one. You win this game of chicken. But let me tell you why. If you’re looking across centuries, then we’ve got to be careful to define what “liberal” means. It doesn’t seem worth the effort.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Not using it in a political sense, Baronius, but only to mean more permissive, more tolerant of what in the past was passing for taboos. And again, not necessarily as an index of what’s more “reasonable” or not but more as a function of increasingly greater exposure to new ideas.

    A greater religious tolerance, on this model, would be an example of a more “liberal” mindset.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    Would you care to name a social issue of any overall significance that is more conservative now than it was even a generation ago, much less a century ago?

    Tell you what – I just thought of one – time was, the legal age to marry was a bit younger in a lot of states, wherein kids as young as 14 were allowed to marry with the parents’ permission. But I think that was more of a practical matter than one of social acceptance.

    Other than that, I can’t think of a single social issue that is more conservative now than a generation ago. I mentioned as much in my article and got called an effing idiot for it…but that’s nothing. I’ve been called a lot worse.

    As I said there, barring a worldwide catastrophe or a right-wing military coup in America or the like, the world will continue to become more liberal. That’s the obvious trend of history over the generations and the centuries, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    But my challenge still stands – please tell me how we’re more conservative than before in any area of social significance.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Glenn, it’s hard to prove, but I have a feeling liberalism in the broad historical sense you describe may be a function of prosperity. As standards of living rise, people are able to occupy their minds with matters other than simply scraping a living, and governments do not feel the need to exercise as much control over the population. Life five hundred years ago was far more precarious than it is now, and even the smallest social upheaval had the potential to exacerbate already widespread hardships. Rules and values that perhaps made sense in the Middle Ages have fallen away because the circumstances that engendered them no longer apply.

    On a smaller scale, you’ll find that the attitudes and values of, say, a college professor tend to be more liberal than those of, say, a longshoreman – regardless of how they actually vote.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Your comment is true in every respect…but I would also add that the ease of the spread of information has a liberalizing effect, as well.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    True, Glenn, but the information being spread has to be largely uncontrolled as well. The German government of the 1930s and 40s spread a lot of information, none of it likely to encourage liberal thinking in its audience.