Democrats took it on the chin last night. Republicans and Tea Party Republicans landed one body blow after another before delivering the knockout punch.
Republicans took 60 House seats and at least 6 Senate positions away from the Democrats. That means that Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) will become the next Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. That’s right – Speaker of the House John Boehner. In the Senate, the Democrats barely held, but they did, so Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) will remain as the Senate Majority leader.
But it’s over. While there remain a few more ballots to be counted and re-counted – it’s over. The election is over, but let’s not move on too quickly. In a couple of months, we’ll be yammering on about 2012 and what that election will mean, but before we do that, we should examine what we learned from this one.
What I learned from this election is that polls are pretty good at predicting races that are clear blowouts. But for races within a couple of points – polling data are meaningless.
In Delaware, Christine O’Donnell taught me an important lesson. She showed me that even candidates that are clear losers can still have impact. The media, myself included, ran a ton of stories about O’Donnell, despite the fact that she had no chance of winning.
Why did we do it? Well, for me, it was because of all the crazy stuff she said, and because it represents a seat the GOP should have won, had O’Donnell not taken the nomination away from them.
We need candidates like O’Donnell. The O’Donnell campaign gave people something to talk about while they were talking about the elections. She provided a fun way to ease into the conversation about politics with a few laughs. “I’m not a witch.” Who says that in a political ad? The witch ad is probably my favorite O’Donnell skit, but that clip of her on O’Reilly’s show from a few years ago talking about scientists creating mice with fully functioning human brains, that still makes me chuckle. And then there’s that whole masturbation thing …
Thank you Christine O’Donnell.
But it’s over. The GOP now controls half of Congress. Did I hear something about congressional investigations of the Obama administrations? How many birthers were elected this year? Yeah, it’s going to be a fun couple of years watching Congress and the White House rip each other to shreds.