A Few Post Election Thoughts

* As of 5 AM, the GOP has picked up 61 seats and there are another 14 left to be called. On the Senate side, we’ve picked up 6 seats and we’re waiting for the final numbers in Alaska and Washington. I predicted a 70-80 gain for the GOP in the House and a 7-9 seat gain in the Senate. So, it looks like I was a tad optimistic, but not too far off the mark.

* There were four big name self-funding GOP candidates running for Senate seats: Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Linda McMahon, and John Raese. Not only did all of them lose, they lost so convincingly that their races were called immediately after the polls closed. That should kill the idea that having self-funding candidates is an advantage.

* If ABC News would have had Andrew Breitbart on last night, I would have tuned in to their coverage. Since they didn’t, it wasn’t worth my time. I watched Fox for the coverage and MSNBC for the splutter and spin.

* California Proposition 19 or Dope 19 as Ashley Sewell calls it, failed. It should have. California is going down the tubes already. The last thing it needs is even more people getting high.

* The biggest disappointment of the night? Without question it was Sharron Angle’s loss to Harry Reid. She really looked like she had the race in hand going into the final stretch. The happiest moment? The victory of RWN blogger Renee Ellmers over Bob Etheridge, although Alan Grayson’s defeat has to be a close second.

* The biggest question of the day? It’ll probably be, “How did Sharron Angle lose?” Polling consistently showed her with a lead in the last week — and it’s hard to imagine the voters in Nevada breaking hard for Reid at the last moment. So, how did what looked like a 3-4 lead going into election day turn into a 5 point defeat?

* Despite the fact that I didn’t like Mike Castle at all, I supported him in his primary against Christine O’Donnell. There was a simple reason for that: Mike Castle would have won last night’s election easily whereas Christine O’Donnell was practically doomed to lose it from the start.

I like Christine O’Donnell, I’ve run her videos on Viral Footage, and I’ve defended her on RWN. However, only a blue chip conservative candidate would have had a chance in that race and Christine O’Donnell just didn’t measure up to that standard. So now, we have a far left-winger in that seat and it’s entirely possible that he’ll be there for decades. Let me just repeat what I said before the O’Donnell/Castle primary: There’s nothing conservative about putting a socialist in the Senate by choosing a candidate who has no chance to beat him.

In the run up to the Castle/O’Donnell primary, instead of simply acknowledging that Castle could win while O’Donnell couldn’t, a few people tried to make that race into some sort of “I’m more conservative than you” litmus test. Given how things turned out, the people who chose that approach don’t look very smart today.

* This election is a lot like the 2008 election in that the party out of power didn’t win it so much as the party in power lost it. Republicans should keep that in mind and remember that the only thing they’ve really won is a chance to prove themselves from scratch. If they don’t measure up, then given how the last three elections have gone, it’s entirely possible that they’ll be the ones on the business end of a brutal election come 2012.

* There will be some talk today about the Tea Party candidates like Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell, who didn’t cut it last night. It’s certainly fair to point that out. Of course, it’s also fair to note that Tea Party backed candidates like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio did win and win big. It’s also worth noting that the “establishment” made plenty of bad picks, too. Charlie Crist, Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, and Linda McMahon are great examples of that.

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