Last night was a good one for Republicans. Years of Democratic dominance hampered their efforts to stop programs like the bloated, expensive, and bait-and-switch health care reform bill known as Obamacare. They didn’t have the numbers to push through their own agenda, at least not the items their constituents wanted most.
Republicans needed six seats to take over the Senate, and they so far have seven. The first big race called for the Republicans last night was Sen. Mitch McConnell’s re-election. The new Senate majority leader handily beat challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes. Conservatives took former Democratic seats in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Liberal incumbents Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Mark Udall of Colorado, will have to vacate their offices. Iowa and West Virginia elected women to the U.S. Senate for the first time: Joni Ernst and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.
Perhaps the most surprising victory of the night was Thom Tillis, who defeated Kay Hagan in a tight race.
Republicans kept control of the House of Representatives and picked up additional seats. So what are the implications of this clear message from voters to lawmakers? President Barack Obama’s final two years will likely be a headache for him. Hopefully, the GOP will focus on budget deficits and make big changes to Obamacare. Border security is not only a big issue, it’s a matter of national security. This time around, Republicans need to go strong on illegal immigration and not just pay lip service. Amnesty should be off the table. Enforcing the law should be the primary concern right now.
Congratulations to us! But now it’s time to get to work and get results. The presidential election looms, and demographics are not in the GOP’s favor. It’ll take a lot of convincing to put a Republican in the White House.