In a major blowout that was definitely not predicted, as of 11 p.m. PST the Republican Party ended the November 4 elections with seven new Senate seats, and possibly two more to follow. Six were needed to pave the way to a Senate majority, which they have done.
Some of the Senate seats won were Arkansas, Tom Cotton; Colorado, Cory Gardner; Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, and a major upset in North Carolina with Thom Tillis narrowly beating Kay Hagan. Republicans also won Senate seats in Iowa, West Virginia, South Dakota, and Montana, all states where Democrats retired.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid perhaps gave the biggest understatement of the evening: ” The message from voters is clear: They want us to work together.”
In the House, Republicans picked up 11 formerly Democrat seats. A net pickup of 13 would give them more seats in the House than at any time since 1946.
There were also some stunning wins in the nationwide Gubernatorial races, including Republican Bruce Reiner taking the governorship Obama’s home state Illinois. Republican Greg Abbot beat Wendy Davis in Texas, and Republican Larry Hogan won in Maryland.
Social media was on fire throughout election night. Some of the best posts on Facebook:
Illinois PolitiChick Leslie Deinhammer: “Can I pinch myself now? Did Rauner really win? Does this mean that Illinois will start paying its bills come January? Can Illinois possibly pull a ‘Walker’ with the schools? The economy?”
Nick Searcy: “I recorded robocalls that went into 8 races: IA, CO, GA, NC, KS, WV-02, VA-07, and IA-04. REPUBLICANS WON ALL 8. THE SEARCY FACTOR! YOU’RE WELCOME, AMERICA!”
Dave Puckett: “Battle Ground Texas did a bang up job down here in Texas, they got Wendy Davis within the 20 percentage points of Greg Abbott. NO ONE thought it would be that close.”
And on Twitter,
— kb9ibw / Emery (@kb9ibw) November 5, 2014
@politichickAM GOP must start immediately reaching out to minority voters. This election provided a real opening.
— Charlemagne (@ErsteKrieger) November 5, 2014
Obama is going to be REALLY mad about all this when he sees it on TV in the morning.
— B.Z. (@bzaz) November 5, 2014
Looks like Clay Aiken came in second again #CNNElection
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 5, 2014
So now the hard work begins, when we hold our newly elected Senators, Congressmen, Governors, and everyone else accountable for their actions and make sure they follow through with their campaign promises. Instead of resting on our laurels, starting right now, our work on the 2016 elections begins.