We asked election experts and poll watchers for their best guesstimates as to who pulls it off, who doesn’t, and how the likes of MSNBC and the New York Times may try to explain it all away. Enjoy. But only if you vote!
Today’s election results will represent a historic repudiation of President Obama and his allies in Congress. Never in recent history have the American people swung so quickly and boldly against a president and his party. Obama’s highly partisan, big-government, “Washington knows best” approach has been rejected, and the voting today will prove it.
America wants a presidential “midterm correction.” And since Obama would not change course, voters will do it for him.
Here’s what I expect. In the House, Republicans will gain 55 net seats. In the Senate, Republicans will pick up nine Democratic seats (Arkansas, North Dakota, Indiana, Wisconsin, Washington, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Illinois, and Colorado) and lose none.
The Democrats’ losing Washington State will be one of the big surprises of the night.
Here’s one more big (potential) surprise. If the GOP gains nine seats, the Senate could be evenly divided in January. But Senator Joe Lieberman may decide to caucus with the Republicans, giving them the 51st vote to organize the Senate. Probably won’t happen, but it is fun to think about.
The New York Times and MSNBC will quickly haul out two bogus explanations:
1. Obama failed to communicate.
2. Angry, reactionary Tea Party voters account for Republican gains.
Both are wrong. Here is the reality. Obama’s governing style and policy substance were at odds with both his campaign promises and the preferences of the center-right country he leads. He needs to admit that to save his presidency.
One final cautionary note to Republicans: Stay humble in victory. For many of the independent voters who swung your way, today’s win was more a reaction against Obama and the Democrats than an embrace of your policies.
And with Obama still in the White House for the next two years, add a new category to your definition of victory — stopping him from doing more damage. That may be the best you can do. Make sure voters understand that.
– Gary Andres is vice president of public policy and research at Dutko Worldwide.
Predicting even a single GOP win in Massachusetts is risky. And yet, I’m predicting two. Massachusetts, which hasn’t had a GOP congressman since Bill Clinton’s first term, will send two to Washington. Unfortunately, I don’t know which two. On the ground, it looks like Sean Beilat really has caught the Scott Brown magic, but the more realistic choices are Jeff Perry in the open 10th seat and Jon Golnik over Nikki Tsongas. Or it could be Tea Party–backed Marty Lamb’s underfunded insurgent campaign against “Friend of Fidel” Jim McGovern.
Does it sound like I’m wimping out? I am.