Barack Obama had an incredible showing last night. Not only did he win just about every “swing state” from 2004, he won several states that have long been considered safe for Republicans.
Who seriously thought Indiana, which last voted for a Democrat for president in 1964, would go for Obama? He flipped Virginia, Colorado and North Carolina, and may yet win Missouri.
But the down-ticket races have been disappointing in many states. Becky Greenwald and Rob Hubler underperformed Obama and Tom Harkin in Iowa’s fourth and fifth Congressional districts.
Minnesota Democrats failed to pick up any Congressional seats and may not win the U.S. Senate race either, even though Obama won the state by double-digits.
Oregon’s U.S. Senate race is too close to call, despite a huge Obama victory in that state. Democrat Jeff Merkley has led all the recent polls in that race.
We didn’t win as many down-ticket races in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida as many people expected.
Republican incumbents in Alaska who trailed in all the recent polls may keep their jobs.
A lot of analysis needs to be done to figure out what has happened. Perhaps the Republican scare-mongering about “socialism” failed to turn voters off from Obama, but helped convince them to vote for divided rule in Washington. Maybe with so much media commentary about the presidential race being a foregone conclusion, Americans wanted some checks and balances on Obama.
What do you think?
UPDATE: Swing State Project runs through what Democrats won and lost in the U.S. House races. With some districts still too close to call, we have picked up 21 Republican-held seats while four of our own incumbents lost (two who captured heavily Republican districts in 2006 wave). We lost a lot of seats that had seemed to be trending our way, as well as some districts where we outspent the Republican candidate in the final weeks (MN-03, MN-06).
Jerome Armstrong has some thoughts about the apparent swing against Democrats in a lot of the close U.S. Senate races.
Having slept on it, I realize that one wrong assumption I made was that the universal commentary about McCain being toast would depress the Republican vote.
Instead Republicans seem to have turned out in large numbers to prevent one-party “socialist” rule in Washington. Perhaps also a lot of independents voted for gridlock (Obama plus GOP down-ticket).
Of course the presidential landslide is the most important result from yesterday, but I can’t help feeling like wise-beyond-his-years Populista:
Couldn’t this election have nicer frosting? The cake is great but this frosting makes me sick.