By Tim Montgomerie
It is better that the Republicans won the House of Representatives than the Senate: "As I told an interviewer on Britain’s Sky News, if you had to choose which legislative house you would like to control in America, you would pick the House of Representatives (where the party leadership usually can determined legislative outcomes) to the Senate (which no party even with a 60-seat supermajority really controls), just as in the United Kingdom you would rather have a majority in the House of Commons than in the House of Lords." (Michael Barone in The Washington Examiner).
But have the Republicans won effective control of the Senate?: "Ten Democrats whose seats are up in 2012 come from right-leaning states or saw their states scoot to the right this week: Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jim Webb of Virginia, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Jon Tester of Montana, and Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico. It's a good bet that some or all of them will be sympathetic to cutting spending, extending the Bush tax cuts, scaling back ObamaCare, and supporting other parts of the Republican agenda. With Democratic allies, Republicans will have operational control of the Senate more often than Majority Leader Harry Reid and Mr. Obama will." (Fred Barnes in the Wall Street Journal).
The Republicans won right across USA: "Republicans took control of at least 19 additional state legislative bodies Tuesday for a total of 26 in which the party controls both chambers, compared with 21 for Democrats and with three still up for grabs. Among these are legislatures in Alabama and North Carolina that had not seen elected Republican majorities since the Reconstruction elections of 1876 and 1870, respectively. Those that argued just two years ago the GOP was in danger of becoming a Southern regional party were proved resoundingly wrong as state legislative chambers in New Hampshire, Maine, Wisconsin and Minnesota flipped to GOP control. Republicans even made major inroads and could end up on top of legislative bodies in Oregon and Washington." (Washington Examiner editorial).
Republicans still struggling among much younger and ethnic minority voters: "Exit polls show that white voters represented the vast majority of the electorate this cycle, casting 78% of the votes, 60% of which went to the Republican Party. However, among other voters, the Republican Party did poorly: 90% African-Americans voted for Democrats, as did 64% of Latinos and 56% of Asians. Young voters showed up in far fewer numbers this year than when Barack Obama was up for election in 2008. Voters between 18 and 29 years old represented only 9% of the electorate this year, compared to 18% in the 2008 election. The 18-29 demographic was the only age group measured by CNN’s exit polling to be won by Democrats: 57% of this group voted Democrat, as opposed to only 40% for Republicans." (Tim Mak on FrumForum)
The Republicans must become the party of growth, not just deficit reduction: "The GOP as been handed a rare chance to be the Party of Growth, instead of just another party in Washington. From its choice of committee chairmen to directors of its study groups, the GOP has to make clear its commitment to being the party of sustained, long-term economic growth. The Democrats' alienation from the real economy is an opportunity but also, if one may use this word in our politics without blushing, a responsibility. If the GOP doesn't get this right, no one else will." (Daniel Henninger in the Wall Street Journal).
Many of the best reform packages have been delivered in bipartisan periods: "Nearly all the historical models for the kind of big reforms I’d like to see — the Reagan tax overhauls, the budget deals of the Clinton and first Bush presidencies, the welfare reform that turned A.F.D.C. into T.A.N.F. — took place amid divided government of one sort or another." (Ross Douthat on New York Times blogs).
But Republicans won't compromise on the size of Obama's state: "When he took office, government (federal, state and local combined) controlled 35 percent of the US economy — 15th among the two-dozen advanced countries. Now, it controls 44.7 percent, ranking us 7th, ahead of Germany and Britain. So where's the compromise — leave government in control of, say, 40 percent?" (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann in the New York Post).
And they will try to unpick ObamaCare: "Republicans must also tackle ObamaCare. They must try to repeal or defund it. But they should also present conservative alternatives—such as permitting Americans to buy health insurance across state lines, allowing small businesses to pool their risk to get the same discounts that big businesses get, giving the tax advantage of having insurance to the individual as well as the employer, and passing medical-liability reform to end junk lawsuits." (Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal).
Moderate (so-called Blue Dog Democrats) were defeated: "Rural areas represented by Blue Dog Democrats were wiped out, making them much harder for Obama to win in 2012. Moreover, the loss of those conservative Democrats, combined with a GOP takeover, will make Democrats remaining in Congress — liberals in safe, mostly urban seats — likely even tougher on Obama and more confrontational in the next two years." (A B Stoddard on The Hill).
And, finally, Roger Simon of Politico warns Obama that if he runs to far towards the Republicans he may face a challenge for his party's nomination from Howard Dean or other leader of the Left.
This far out 2012 presidential polls are almost useless but I can't resist! Here's a CNN poll…