Rick Scott

Republicans surge and election turns into rout

The Republican party has succeeded in routing the Democrats and taking the Senate. They also have retained control and extended that control of the House.

They needed 6 seats to take the Senate and grabbed 7. The Atlantic reports:

Republicans took the Senate majority in a commanding sweep on Tuesday, winning nearly every contested race across the country, gaining governor’s mansions and adding to their majority in the House of Representatives. For weeks, pundits had debated the semantics of what would constitute a “wave” election, but when it came, it was unmistakable.

Republicans unseated Democratic incumbents in Senate races in Arkansas, North Carolina, and Colorado, and were leading in Alaska early Wednesday. They easily held onto GOP-controlled seats in Georgia, Kansas, and Kentucky. In New Hampshire, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen barely held on against Republican Scott Brown. In one of the night’s biggest surprises, Virginia Senator Mark Warner, who was thought to be safe, was up only half a point over his Republican challenger early Wednesday. The Louisiana election, in which Democrat Mary Landrieu finished slightly ahead of her Republican challenger, Bill Cassidy, was set to go to a December runoff, which Cassidy is favored to win.

Though Pennsylvania’s abysmally unpopular Republican governor, Tom Corbett, was defeated, Republicans took over governor’s mansions in Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts, and were leading by a hair in Colorado. Controversial Republican incumbents Scott Walker (Wisconsin), Rick Snyder (Michigan), Sam Brownback (Kansas), Paul LePage (Maine), Nathan Deal (Georgia), and Rick Scott (Florida), all of whom had appeared vulnerable in pre-election polls, all held on to win reelection.

Ebullient Republicans, many of whom had run relentlessly one-note campaigns focused on the unpopular president, touted the results as a rejection of President Obama and Democratic policies. “This race wasn’t about me or my opponent,” Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky senator who easily won reelection and stands to become the new majority leader, told a ballroom full of supporters here. “It was about a government people no longer trust.”

Much speculation now focuses on McConnell, who has been blamed for singlehandedly stopping most of the Obama agenda for the past five years. (Ironically, the conservatives who want the Obama agenda stopped give McConnell little credit for doing so.) But McConnell now faces a choice about whether continued obstruction will serve his party’s interests. In his victory speech, he mentioned no specific policies but rather struck a conciliatory note.

“Some things don’t change after tonight,” he said. “I don’t expect the president to wake up tomorrow and view the world any differently than he did when he woke up this morning, and he knows I won’t either. But look, we do have an obligation to work together on issues where we can agree. Just because we have a two-party system doesn’t mean we have to be in perpetual conflict.”

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So far so good for the GOP, plus 3 in the Senate

The Republican party already holds a large majority int eh house and in this midterm election was seeking to gain 6 seats to gain control of the Senate.

They are half way there as counting continues.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Races that could determine Senate control remain too close to call as incumbent Democrats try to fend off GOP challengers in North Carolina and, in a surprise addition to the battleground field, Virginia.

But Republicans have now picked up three of the six net seats needed to seize control of the Senate, with wins in Arkansas, South Dakota and West Virginia.

Democrats, meanwhile, held the New Hampshire Senate seat, depriving the GOP of a prime pickup opportunity.

In Arkansas, Rep. Tom Cotton beat incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor, the first incumbent to face defeat. In West Virginia, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito captured a seat the GOP hadn?t held in seven decades, beating Democrat Natalie Tennant. And in South Dakota, former Gov. Mike Rounds won a three-way race against Democrat Rick Weiland and independent Larry Pressler, a former Republican senator.

Like other Democrats, Mr. Pryor was weighed down by an unpopular president. He was also hampered by the shifting political views of his state, which may have no Democrats elected to statewide office for the first time since Reconstruction.

The first endangered Democrat to survive is New Hampshire?s Jeanne Shaheen, who fended off a challenge from Republican Scott Brown , the former Massachusetts senator.

With stakes at an all-time high for both political parties, Democrats and Republicans make an effort to get voters to polls. RNC?s Sean Spicer and DNC?s Mo Elleithee join Tanya Rivero. Photo: Getty

The battle for the Senate also remains close in Georgia, where Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue are each trying to reach the 50% threshold to avoid a January runoff election.

The tightest contest in the country so far appears to be the Florida governor?s race, where former Gov. Charlie Crist and Republican Rick Scott are in a virtual tie with about a third of precincts reporting results, according to the Associated Press.

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Some good ideas

? The Guardian

Florida is at the forefront in voter reform. They have implemented loads of ideas that up to 19 other states are also implementing to tidy up voting rorts. Predictably the cheating left are up in arms, but some of these measures have real merit and we should certainly look at them for New Zealand:

Since January 2011,?19 states have passed a total of 24 laws?that create hurdles between voters and the ballot box. Some states are newly requiring people to show government-issued photo cards at polling stations. Others have whittled down early voting hours, imposed restrictions on registration of new voters,?banned people with criminal records from voting or attempted to purge eligible voters from the electoral roll.

Florida Republicans have made several blatant attempts to suppress turnout this election cycle. One of the first acts of governor Rick Scott when he took office in 2011 was to reimpose what is in effect a lifelong voting ban on anyone convicted of a felony – including 1.3 million Floridians?who have fully completed their sentences.

“There are over a million people in Florida who no longer have the full rights of citizenship and right to vote,” said Baylor Johnson of Florida ACLU. “One million people ? that’s the White House for a generation, which gives you an idea of why they are trying so hard to stop people voting.”

The felony trap is just a small part of it. Over the past 18 months the Republican-controlled state government in Florida has introduced a rash of new restrictions. They include a reduction in early voting hours that will hit black communities that made disproportionate use of the opportunity through their churches; changes to the rules that will make it harder for those who change address to vote and could catch hundreds of thousands of families who have lost their homes through foreclosure; and attempts to erase thousands of voters from the electoral roll through a “purge list” that was so flawed that the state’s electoral supervisors refused to touch it.

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