According to the left’s spin on the electoral results, hinted at before their trouncing and now solidified into Democratic doctrine, winning the Senate is a curse for the GOP.
That’s right—Democrats spent nearly two billion dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours campaigning and volunteering to achieve an outcome they didn’t even want.
I know liberals love throwing billions of dollars of other people’s money at intractable problems they have zero chance of solving, but this is ridiculous.
According to this argument, Republicans are now in charge of both chambers of Congress, which means that they’ll be blamed for future gridlock. As The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote, “Republicans have set themselves up for chaos, if not outright fratricide.”
Except that there will be minimal gridlock in Congress compared to the gridlock under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The gridlock will be between Congress and the White House, and the press will blame it on Obama.
When the Republican House and Senate—whose members are much closer to each other ideologically than either is to Obama—pass bills that are popular with the American people and send them to the president, and Obama stonewalls and sits on them and makes excuses for not signing them, the public will see where the real political dysfunction lies: with Democratic politicians who thwart the will of the people and blame Republicans. Obama may denounce a popular bill on ideological grounds, or perhaps ignore it and go play golf, but either way voters will see who’s “not getting anything done.”
There are many other reasons why, contrary to Democratic pall-casting, Republicans winning the Senate is a fantastic outcome. For one thing, the GOP currently has 52 seats, and will likely win 2 more undecided races in Alaska and Louisiana. If they take the Presidency (and Vice-Presidency) in 2016, they’ll have leeway to lose as many as four net seats to Democrats in 2016 and still retain the Senate. And they’ll need that leeway, because the 2016 Senate landscape is much less favorable to Republicans than in 2014.
Another advantage of taking the Senate is that this year’s election results are eroding the questionable reputations of left-leaning polling prognosticators faster than you can say “Five-Thirty-Eight.”
The biggest surprise in Nate Silver, Sam Wang, and other statisticians’ election forecasts wasn’t their GOP under-predictions in seat tallies. It was the extent to which they underestimated Republicans’ victory margins:
- Out of 34 Senate races, polls over-predicted Democrats’ performance in 26 and Republicans’ in only 8
- Of the 7 competitive races in which Republicans sought pickups—Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina—polls over-predicted Democrats’ performance in 6, with New Hampshire the sole exception (1% over-prediction for Republican Scott Brown)
- Polls over-predicted Democratic performance in the three additional states Republicans picked up, including Montana (12%), South Dakota (8%), and West Virginia (6%)
- Over-prediction of Democrats’ performance also included Tennessee (12%), Kentucky (9%), Virginia and South Dakota (8%), and Maine and Iowa (7%)
- Out of 35 governors’ races, polls over-predicted Democrats’ performance in 28 and Republicans’ in just 7
As Silver—who was recently lecturing us on how polls usually under-predict Democratic performance—admits, “[T]he average Senate poll conducted in the final three weeks of this year’s campaign overestimated the Democrat’s performance by 4 percentage points. The average gubernatorial poll was just as bad, also overestimating the Democrat’s performance by 4 points.”
That’s a lot of Democratic over-predicting for something the left allegedly didn’t want in the first place.
One final boon from the midterm results is that they exposed the futility of Democrats’ bogus “War on Women” meme.
If Republicans are waging a war on women—or minorities—then their opening salvo appears to be saddling their adversaries with political power.
In 2014 the GOP demonstrated their contempt for women and nonwhites by electing or reelecting:
- Joni Ernst, the first woman from Iowa to win a U.S. Senate seat and first female combat veteran in the Senate
- Shelley Moore Capito, the first female senator from West Virginia and first Republican senator from the state in half a century
- Mia Love, the first black female Republican elected to Congress
- Nikki Haley, South Carolina’s first female governor (reelected)
- Mary Fallin, Oklahoma’s first female governor (reelected)
- Susana Martinez, New Mexico’s first female governor and first Latina governor in the U.S. (reelected)
Meanwhile, female Democratic candidates lost in droves, including incumbent North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan, Kentucky senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, and Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, the latter two of whom didn’t even win the female vote in their states.
The War on Women campaign theme was such a bust that even the Denver Post endorsed Cory Gardner over Mark Udall—the latter of whom they endorsed six years ago—because Udall “devoted a shocking amount of energy and money” trying “to frighten voters rather than inspire them.”
The GOP also elected Tim Scott, the first African-American from South Carolina in the Senate, and the first black Southern senator since Reconstruction—a result the left celebrated by calling Scott vile racist names.
Don’t listen to Democrats who pooh-pooh the 2014 midterm results just like they did four years ago. Good news is good news, and we’re going to need a lot more of it in 2016.
- Senate Elections 2014: Republicans Seize Control of Senate (eastidahonews.com)
- Senate Elections 2014: Republicans Seize Control of Senate (abcnewsradioonline.com)
- U.S. Midterm Elections 2014: Republicans Seize Control Of Senate And House (chinatopix.com)
- Gop Hopes to Tip Balance of Power (utsandiego.com)
- GOP Takes Control of Senate (abc30.com)