I know, I know; we still have a few big storylines developing (a few Senate races, the actual popular vote count, couple Congressional races) but for the most part the writing is on the wall. We know that President Barack Obama will enjoy a second term, that the Democratic Party is likely to add on to their lead in the Senate and the Republicans held on to their advantage in the House.
But let’s take a look at the ongoing, fluid outlook on everything that has happened tonight.
Obama Wins, Romney Loses:
- Tammy Baldwin made history. First openly lesbian Senator in U.S. history. This means something and I hope you appreciate it.
- Elizabeth Warren and Chris Murphy gave the Democrats two seats. Massachusetts now has a progressive rockstar as it’s Senator-elect while Connecticut is now Lieberman-free. I know a few Democrats who are quite thrilled about the latter development.
- Heidi Heitkamp did better in the real campaign than the polls and might’ve ran the best campaign of them all. She kept an unlikely Democratic seat blue. Tip of the cap to her, if it maintains.
- Republican Party needs to be more inclusive, and not add only party purity ideologues if it wants to one day take the Senate Majority. The Tea Party Movement has been horrifically stained tonight, especially if Allen West loses.
- Democrats, however, need to tackle a more 50-State strategy again. Part of 2006’s success was based off that, and that momentum carried into 2008. Mark Clayton beating Park Overall in Tennessee can not happen again, and some state parties need to be revitalized. Overall wouldn’t have beaten Bob Corker, but it would’ve caused less PR nightmares for the Tennessee Democratic Party.
- Tammy Duckworth was going to beat Joe Walsh no matter what, but it was probably a great thing for the Netroots to see. It was great for me at least.
- If Allen West and Michele Bachmann get defeated, expect raucous celebrations until inauguration day. Even if they come out victorious, this might be their last re-election bid.
- Alan Grayson (again) becomes to conservatives as West is to liberals.
- Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan easily won their re-election bids. Cantor won with the least amount of the vote in his electoral history and his challenger, Wayne Powell, tallied the most of any competitor. Same goes with Paul Ryan and Rob Zerban, though Ryan appears to match his 1998 total from when he first ran for Congress. Doesn’t mean much but it does show that there might be an opening for the future.
- Democrats fought back in New England and traditional party states but must expand into other areas. However, Jim Matheson of Utah appears to might have beaten Mia Love, a huge GOP recruit.
Miscellaneous Presidential Thoughts
- Minnesota was tighter than Pennsylvania. I expect both states to be hotly contested in 2016.
- Michigan and Wisconsin were targeted heavily but both were called relatively early. Great news for Democrats, though both states are always somewhat targeted by Republicans.
- Republican states got redder by a decent amount. Still didn’t hurt popular vote though.
- Democrats might want to look into Georgia and Montana for expanding the map, both states continue to slowly walk to the middle and GOP might be losing their grasp on them.
Miscellaneous Senate Thoughts
- Not much to really state here. 2014 will be mightily interesting.
Miscellaneous House Thoughts
- Joe Kennedy III is elected, so with the exception of 2010-to-2012; a Kennedy has been in Congress since 1946.
- Kate Upton’s uncle, Fred, was re-elected in Michigan.
Let’s Talk Third Parties
- Third parties, as per usual, were hyped up dramatically but likely didn’t make a big difference. Gary Johnson has exceeded a million votes, but is likely going to hover around 1% of the total vote, far below the 5% he targeted for federal funding. He is the most successful Libertarian Party candidate of all-time, but more needs to be done if they have any success.
- Jill Stein improved the Green Party’s outcome from 2008. Likely to get around a half million votes.
- Virgil Goode made no difference in Virginia, as previously worried by the right.
- America is progressing on a few issues. Or at least beginning to move forward. Marriage equality appears to be passed in Maryland and Maine. Washington and Minnesota also have marriage questions on the ballot, if they all pass in favor of marriage equality? Like it or not, America is moving towards the acceptance of same-sex marriage. Time to jump on that train, GOP.
- Marijuana legalization was passed in Colorado and Washington, now we must wonder if other states begin offering that option in future elections. Will we see major parties jump on that train? Not yet, but it’s getting closer I believe.