Winning Without Winning

Jeffrey Anderson offers some context for the Senate election results:

In the midst of a resounding national rebuke at all levels of government, the Democrats have been taking some solace in having held the Senate. But to put the Republicans’ Senate gains this week into perspective, Republicans won an even higher percentage of Senate races than House races (they won 65 percent of the 37 Senate races, versus approximately 56 percent of the 435 House races). And, counting Lisa Murkowski as still being a Republican (a spokesman for her campaign says the Alaskan would caucus with the GOP if she beats Joe Miller in their still-undecided race), there have been only two elections since 1950 in which Republicans have gained more Senate seats than the six they gained in 2010. One of those elections was in 1980, when voters swept Ronald Reagan into the White House. The second was in 1994, in response to the Democrats’ ill-advised attempts to pass Hillarycare. So while the Republicans’ gains in the House — surpassing those of 1994 and likely doubling those of 1980 — are more historic and important, the GOP’s Senate pickups in 2010 aren’t too shabby either.

Yes, the Tea Party wave did sweep Christine O’Donnell through the Republican primaries in Delaware and Republicans away from ultimate victory, there, but such outcomes are periodically inevitable when a movement raises principle at least to parity with political calculation. As Anderson notes: take away the enthusiasm that elevated O’Donnell, and you take away the enthusiasm that won the House and brought near-historic gains the Senate.
Now the task is for the Republican Party to follow suit and lead rather than calculate.

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joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

The fact remains that dingbats like O’Donnell and Angle cost two seats that would otherwise have been there.
Some Tea Party backed candidates like Rand Paul and Ken Buck were really good.Too bad Buck lost.
I don’t know about Miller one way or another.
I’m still really happy that Alan Grayson is GONE.

MadMom
MadMom
10 years ago

Joe,
You miss a critical point. Without the enthusiasm of the tea party, the Democrats could still hold majorities in both the House and the Senate, Obama, Pelosi and Reid would be even more empowered than before, and in two years this country would be unrecognizable.
Yes, a few unelectables were swept along in the bargain. But the ability of the tea party movement to empower vast numbers of regular folks to really pay attention to politics and question their elected leaders for the first time in their lives is priceless. The election was historic, and whether you agree or not, the history books will attribute much of the gains made for conservatives to the tea party movement.
Now it’s time for the GOP to understand that it was not about them, and they must listen to what the people are saying.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

I don’t think I was being that hard on the tea party people.I agree with most of what they sre for,but not eevrything.I just pointed out that they backed some good and some bad candidates.
I’d sooner have a wishy washy Republican subject to the pressure of his or her caucus than a Marxist pig like Chris Coons.
You are right-it wasn’t about the GOP-it was about intrusive,rapacious,and social engineering government.

chuckR
chuckR
10 years ago

“it was about intrusive,rapacious,and social engineering government”
Let’s see if we hit them hard enough with the clue bat for it to take effect. By by we I mean almost everybody except RI. I’ll vote against anybody who votes for more government without offsetting cuts – and more – elsewhere.

George
George
10 years ago

This is the trap that Republicans and Conservatives need to avoid:
http://www.garynorth.com/public/7218.cfm
All Republicans in congress need to be held accountable to the will of the people… and constantly reminded of who swept them back into power. Otherwise, it will just tilt back in a couple of years…

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