NEWARK, November 5, 2014 — The 2014 elections were more than a wave. 2010 was a wave. 1994 was a tidal wave. 1980 was a tsunami.
For Democrats, these elections were an absolute bloodbath. They were also a total rejection of all things Obama. President Obama insisted that his policies were on the ballot. Republicans gleefully agreed.
To understand the depths of the Republican victories is to accept staggering numbers.
Republicans needed to win six seats to capture the United States Senate. Republicans held every single one of their own seats. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell easily dispatched Alison Lundergan Grimes. Georgia Senate candidate David Purdue did likewise with Michelle Nunn. Embattled Kansas Senator Pat Roberts survived a challenge from Democrat-leaning independent Greg Orman.
Republicans easily picked up open Senate seats as expected, with Congressman Steve Daines, Governor Mike Rounds and Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito winning landslides in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia, respectively.
Needing three more seats, Republican Cory Gardner unseated Mark Udall in Colorado. Congressman Tom Cotton blasted Mark Pryor in Arkansas.
Then came the announcement that Joni Ernst had won her Senate race in Iowa. She became a nationwide sensation when she bragged in a commercial that she grew up castrating hogs. On this night her victory meant that Senator Harry Reid of Nevada had just been neutered. He and McConnell now switch places, with McConnell becoming the Senate Majority Leader.
Republicans were not done. State House Speaker Thom Tillis ousted Kay Hagan in North Carolina. Dan Sullivan took down Mark Begich in Alaska. This gave the GOP a net gain of eight Senate seats.
Louisiana headed to a December runoff, where Republican Bill Cassidy leads Democrat Mary Landrieu. A net gain of nine Senate seats gives the Republicans a 54-46 advantage. It would have been even worse for them had Democrats not barely survived Senate races in Virginia and New Hampshire that they were supposed to win easily.
Outside of Al Franken winning again in Minnesota and Michigan seeing the less awful of two candidates stumble to victory, the news for Democrats was glum.
In the House, the GOP extended its majority. Republicans now have more seats in the lower chamber than at any time since 1946. At 3:30 a.m. East Coast Time, Republicans had 241 seats to only 175 for Democrats with 19 races up for grabs.
The real shock and awe came from the gubernatorial races. Republicans entered the night with a 29-21 advantage. Only a nationalized electoral bloodbath could have given the GOP the number of victories they racked up in state after state after state.
Several governor’s races that Democrats hoped to win proved to be fools gold. Scott Walker won Wisconsin for the third time in four years. Rick Scott survived a nail-biter in Florida. Embattled Kansas Governor Sam Brownback survived. Top target Paul LePage was reelected. John Kasich coasted in Ohio to a landslide reelection, as did Susanna Martinez in New Mexico and Brian Sandoval in Nevada. In Texas, Attorney General Greg Abbott beat Wendy Davis like a drum.
More stunning was the sheer number of gubernatorial races that saw Democrats go down in flames.
Asa Hutchison won Arkansas easily. Even Democrats in the bluest of blue states lost in shocking fashion. Republican Bruce Rauner knocked off Pat Quinn in Illinois. Republican Charlie Baker eked out a win over Martha Moxley in liberalism’s heartland Massachusetts. Solid blue Maryland, drowning in federal government largess, still saw Republican Larry Hogan win.
Democrats looking for consolation saw one gain as Pennsylvania Republican Governor Tom Corbett was defeated. Democrats barely held the ultra-left Vermont, needing a third party candidate to siphon support from the Republican challenger. Republican Alaska Governor Sean Parnell was struggling, while Democrat governors John Hickenlooper in Colorado and Dan Malloy in Connecticut were fighting for their political lives. Democrats retained the governorships in New York and California.
By 3:30 a.m. Eastern time, Republicans had at least 31 governorships to a maximum of 19 for Democrats.
Everything Democrats won on in 2012 backfired in 2014. The war on women failed. Racial politics failed. The GOP reelected a Latino governor in Nevada and a Latina Governor in New Mexico. Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York is the chamber’s only Jewish Republican. Mia Love of Utah brings Congress its very first black female Republican.
While liberal Democrats will desperately try to paint the results as the ebb and flow of politics, this was a debacle for them and a rejection for anything and everything associated with President Barack Obama.
The 2008 and 2012 were elections were about him. He won. The 2010 and 2014 elections were about him. He lost. Badly. As badly as badly can be.
It was a bloodbath. Time will tell if Obama gets the message and learns to work with Republicans or if he drags down the entire Democrat Party even further in 2016.