November 5, 2014

Election Recap - Senate summary

Highlights:  The race for control of the Senate was the big one to watch and the Republicans scored big, taking control of the Senate with a minimum of 52 seats in the 100 seat Congress, with the possibility of as many as 54 by the time all is said and done.  While the result wasn't a sweep, the GOP moved from a 45 seat minority to moving to control both the House and Senate.  That's a big deal.  Harry Reid can no longer run interference for president Obama and a number of bills will come across his desk that he never had to consider before.  He can't veto everything.  Things will have to change.

In  Colorado, Cory Gardner unseated Mark Udall.  It's a terrific pick-up for the GOP, ensuring the state's recent trend from Red to Purple does not maintain its momentum.

 In North Carolina: Thom Tillis defeated incumbent Kay Hagan in a hotly contested race and one the Democrats fully expected to successfully defend.  This race was practically called for Hagan early on but Tillis votes kept pouring in and it was a sweet pick-up for the Republicans.

In Iowa Republican  woman Joni Ernst defeated Bruce Braley.  I expect her to shine in the next six years and her victory should help kill the Democratic meme that the GOP have been waging a war on women.

In Kansas, Republican incumbent Pat Roberts survived a challenge from supposedly independent Gregg Orman. While Roberts was expected to struggle, holding on was an important hold for the GOP given the tight margins for control of the senate. Combined with Capito's win in West Virginia the war on women meme should die the death it deserves.

In Georgia, not surprisingly Republican Perdue Defeated Democrat Michelle Nunn, but perhaps a little surprising was the margin of victory.  His win was big enough to avoid a runoff election.

In New Hampshire, Democrat Shaheen fended off Scott Brown but the race was a lot closer than many expected and if I were Scott Brown, I would consider not hanging up my spurs and trying to run at Shaheen again in six years after more firmly planting my stake in New Hampshire.

In Kentucky, supposedly vulnerable Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell trounced the Democrat Grimes. Enough said.

In less clear results,  Alaska has not yet been called but at last count the Republican challenger was ahead of incumbent Begich.  And in Louisiana, the Republicans split their vote, resulting in the need for a runoff election where incumbent Mary Landrieu faces a very tough challenge to hold onto her seat  come January.

And finally in the unexpected race in Virginia, incumbent Democrat Warner and Republican, challenger Gillespie remain in a tight race.  This was probably the biggest surprise of the night and even if Gillespie loses the race was shockingly close and bodes well for future Republican efforts in that state.

All in all a terrific night for the GOP in the U.S. Senate.

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