President Obama’s net negative rating across key battleground states was a staggering 30 points.
With numbers like that, it’s not at all surprising that the Republicans took control of the Senate tonight, especially considering the polling going into today’s contest.
The GOP has been ahead or tied in 11 key Senate contests for the past few weeks. While it looked like Democrats were going to hold North Carolina, the unpopularity of the president and the Democrat agenda was overpowering.
Democrat turnout was disappointing despite a tough ground game and tremendous get out the vote campaign.
To be sure, the Democrats were facing a serious challenge from the start. “This is probably the worst possible group of states for Democrats since Dwight Eisenhower,” President Obama said. “There are a lot of states that are being contested where they just tend to tilt Republican, and Democrats are competitive, but they tend to tilt that way.”
But the outcome reflects far more than just tilting Republican. And although tonight’s results don’t represent a wave like we saw in 2010, there can be no doubt that we’re seeing a deeply dissatisfied and angry American electorate.
As Senator Ted Cruz said this evening, “tonight was a powerful repudiation of the Obama presidency.”
To this end, the finger pointing on the Democrat side has already begun. Almost everywhere that President Obama campaigned ended up in a Democrat loss, including in his home state of Illinois. But there are some who argue that the President wasn’t used enough in order to get out the minority vote. He recorded a robocall in North Carolina just today, but it may have been a case of too little, too late.
Looking forward, I will be watching how the Republicans choose to govern. Mitch McConnell has always wanted to be Majority Leader and it my belief that he will be after conference next week.
In his victory speech early this evening, McConnell spoke of his desire to work together with Democrats on issues where there can be agreement. And though he didn’t detail what those issues are – my mind immediately goes to immigration and fiscal reform – McConnell doesn’t have a proven track record of being able, or willing, to work with Democrats.