When I was making predictions as to I mentioned that I felt being a bit of a “Pollyanna.” And was I ever!
At least I have the solace that I was not alone. Most on the right were predicting a Romney victory and gains in the Senate. This failure was that we were looking at 2010 as the model, while what we got was 2008 as a model. The pollsters were right; those who complained about “skewed polls” were wrong. The problem, was that the Republicans were believing their own hype. Even Romney hadn’t allegedly prepared a concession speech.
The entire right built up their fictional success until it became one huge sounding chamber. What happened to the Republicans in 2012 is exactly what happened to the Democrats in 2004. The only question is: Will the Republicans rebound like the Democrats did in 2006 and 2008?
The Republican loss can not be attributed to any particular group in the GOP’s coalition. However, special mention can be noted of Akin in Missouri, and Mourdock in Indiana. There is a simple lesson that can be learned there: NEVER say anything in regards to, or connected with, RAPE as being even slightly positive.
The Republicans have a lot to do, though many are wondering if we’ve gone past the point of no return:
“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville
As for Nevada, I generally called it right. Being a bit more plugged in with what is going on here, and seeing/hearing things with my own senses, I avoided being a Pollyanna and was a bit more accurate.
Obama did indeed win, though his margin was much larger (6½%) due to taking Washoe county. Yet again, Washoe has turned out to be a bellwether for Nevada. Obama won by about 66K votes, the majority of which is probably due to the 230% increase in voter registration the Democrats had built up between the June primary and the election.
I was much more accurate in the Senate race, where Heller defeated Auton-American Shelley Berkley by a bit over 1%. He did this by racking up a huge margin in the rural counties, winning Washoe decisively, and keeping the Berkley’s numbers in Clark county to under 50%. THAT is how Republicans win Nevada. Heller’s victory makes Nevada the ONLY state that elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate despite Obama winning the state. It should also be of note that the Independent American Party candidate and the “None of the Above” option garnered over 9% of the vote. Also contributing to Heller’s victory is 16K voters who voted for Obama, but didn’t vote in the Senate race. I also called the Congressional races, though Horsford’s lead in NV04 was a bit more than I expected.
I was spot on in the state Senate: The Republicans kept SD18 with a Hammond win, and also with the election of Sen. Brower to a full term. I also called the GOP picking up one of the three other seats: The Republicans picked up a Democratic seat, but lost a special election to fill a vacancy… by about 300 votes. The good news for the Republicans is that that seat is up again in 2014, when popular Governor Sandoval is on the ballot and neither Sen. Harry Reid nor Pres. Obama are. In the Assembly, the Democrats picked up one seat… but maybe not due to the fact that one of the seats they “won” was by a candidate who had been ruled ineligible the day before the election. The Democrats also kept a death-grip on the Clark County Commission.
Of note in Nevada, all of the Supreme Court judges won unopposed, though “None of the Above” garnered over 25% of the vote in each of the races.
I will be following up this post with a look at where the Republicans went wrong, and what they can do about it.