A Status Quo Election

Americans voted to keep Republicans in control of the House of Representatives, Democrats in control of the Senate, and Barack Obama in control of the White House.

This outcome was predicted in the last issue of this newsletter.

Votes are still being counted in some states, but the New York Times reported the results so far are:

60,662,174 Obama    303 electoral votes  
57,820,742 Romney  206 electoral votes
118,482,916 total

Strangely, Florida has not yet been called for either candidate.  With 100% of the vote counted, the results were:

4,143,362 Obama
4,096,346 Romney

The New York Times explained, "Though The Associated Press reported that 100 percent of the precincts had reported, election workers in some counties were still counting provisional and absentee ballots."

Nevertheless, it seems inconceivable that Obama's lead of 47,016 could be overcome.  If Florida's 29 electoral votes are awarded to Obama, that would bring his total to 332.

By comparison, Wikipedia listed the final results of the 2008 election:

69,498,215 Obama  365 electoral votes
59,948,240 McCain 173 electoral votes
129,446,455 total

Interestingly, 10,963,539 less votes were cast this year than in 2008, although that figure will shrink a little as more votes are counted and added to the total.

In the House, Politico reports that Democrats are on track to gain 7 seats, including 10 races that remain uncalled.  Democrats are ahead in 8 of them, while Republicans lead in 2. Democrats fell far short of the 25 seats they needed to re-gain the majority.

The last issue of this newsletter reported that the Rothenberg Political Report had forecast a Democratic gain of between 2 and 8 House seats.  The Cook Political Report had a similar forecast  

Both the Rothenberg and Cook political reports predicted that Democrats would retain their majority control of the Senate.  In fact, the Democrats gained 2 seats, reducing the GOP Senate membership from 47 to 45.

Erick EricksonWhile exact figures on state legislative races are not yet available, it appears that Republicans have maintained their huge gains in the 2010 elections.  Details will be reported in a future issue of this newsletter.

2012 was an election in which voters opted for the status quo.  In their Daily Briefing, CQ Roll Call quipped that it reminded them of a line from a Herman's Hermits song, "Second verse, same as the first."  This point was also made by both American for Tax Reform's Grover Norquist and RedState's Erick Erickson (pictured).

In an article in the Huffington Post, Norquist wrote in part:

In the national elections for president, House, and Senate, American voters confirmed the status quo. Not the status quo of 2008 where Democrats had 59/60 Senators, 256 House members, and a president swept into office with a 7 point margin against a war hero.

Voters confirmed the status quo of the 2010 election, which brought a strong, united Republican majority in the House and enough Republican senators to filibuster any particular piece of legislation and a weakened, but re-elected president.

Obama won by two percentage points in 2012. He had a 7 point margin in 2008. His margin fell five points…

Republicans re-elected the class of 2010 that ran in 2012 in spanking new districts that will now remain unchanged for the 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 elections…

In January there will be 13 states with a Democratic governor and both houses of the legislature run by Democratic majorities. Republicans, meanwhile, will have 24 states with united GOP control.

In RedState, Erickson concurred, while observing that Romney "stood for nothing and everything at the same time."

Bloomberg's Josh Barro wrote that this had been the Romney plan all along:

As long as two years ago, Romney settled on strategic policy ambiguity. Romney and his campaign team thought President Barack Obama was such an obvious failure that they could beat him without advancing a substantive policy agenda of their own.

That's how Romney ended up running on a "five point plan" that was just a vague rehash of Bush administration economic policies. His campaign cannot have seriously thought this would inspire struggling middle-class voters. They were banking on voters feeling that any change would be better than the status quo.

In a news conference at the National Press Club, along with other prominent conservatives, Richard A. Viguerie, Chairman of Conservative HQ, was also critical of Romney. He said in part:

Conservatives are saying "never again" are we going to nominate a big government establishment Republican for president.

What's more, we won't have to--conservatives now have a deep bench of potential presidential candidates…

Last night's election of small government constitutional conservatives…portend that yesterday's defeats will spell the end of big government Republicanism…

Romney won the nomination by spending tens of millions of dollars knee-capping his conservative opponents in the primaries and then handed the election to Obama because he and his campaign team spent most of the campaign mired in the establishment Republican folly of trying to win by standing for nothing…

Mitt Romney's loss was the death rattle of the establishment GOP.

Other participants in the news conference were L. Brent Bozell III of ForAmerica; Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List; Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots; Al Regnery of the Paul Revere Project; and Jeffrey Bell, author of The Case for Polarized Politics.

A video of the entire newscast is online at http://www.conservativehq.com/electionbreakdown

The previous What’s Happening with Conservatives and the Tea Party: Elections May Produce a Split Decision

The previous What’s Happening with Seniors Benefits: Obama Administration Won't Pay Hospitals

Previous issues of both newsletters.

Follow Art Kelly on Twitter @ArthurKellyJr

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