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.
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.