It was a tough night. Much tougher than I expected. I was wrong, terribly, terribly wrong. Led astray by faulty premises and errant data. Gallup and Rasmussen found a country made up of either even numbers of Republicans and Democrats or more Republicans. I expected GOP enthusiasm to match that. It didn’t. Final exit polls make the national electorate look like D+6, only one point down from the D+7 in 2008.
If the GOP can’t do better than flipping two states (IN, NC) after four years of the most hated President in decades on the right, it’s got a lot of soul searching to do. Go moderate? Go libertarian? Go more socially conservative? I obviously have a preference there, but we don’t really know what the electorate will want in 4 years.
Some other quick takeaways:
- GOP holds the House (and even pick up a few seats), Democrats hold the Senate. Gridlock goes on.
- Obamacare and Dodd-Frank are now permanent law.
- Mitt Romney is a great man who deserved better than this. I wish him all the best.
- President Obama ran a hell of a campaign. Democrats should be congratulated.
- We still desperately need tax reform, entitlement reform, and immigration reform. Those are all much less likely to happen now.
- No one should blame third party candidates like Gary Johnson, even if his total is bigger than the margin in places like Florida. We don’t know where those votes would have gone, or if they would have shown up at all.
- The 2016 GOP primary starts tomorrow.
- The incredible WI-centrism of the GOP of the last two years (Priebus, Ryan, Johnson, Walker) was for naught.
- Paul Ryan retains his House seat. Unclear if he retains his leadership within the party now.
- Obama is the first candidate since FDR to win reelection with fewer electoral votes and states than his initial win.
- I would say the auto bailout securing OH was the price we paid for Obama’s reelection, but that doesn’t explain FL, VA, IA, CO.
On to the next one…