Government & Politics

Surprise — GOP Keeps Congress

The House wasn't really in play, but the Senate was a big win.

Lewis Morris · Nov. 9, 2016

After months of sweating the possible negative effects that Donald Trump’s slash-and-burn campaign for the presidency would have on down-ballot races, congressional Republicans were rewarded for their hard work Tuesday night. The House, which was never really in play despite the rosy predictions of Democrat strategists, remains comfortably in GOP hands with a 236 to 192 majority as of this writing. But the real action, such as it was, took place in the Senate, and Republicans prevailed there too.

Republicans walked into the 2016 race having to defend 24 seats, and Democrats were licking their chops at the possibility of flipping the chamber in their favor. A lot was riding on the Senate outcome, not the least being which party would hold advice and consent power over upcoming Supreme Court nominees. Democrats were counting on negative feelings about Trump to trickle into Senate races, and they spent a lot of time and treasure attempting to link vulnerable Republicans to the volatile Republican presidential candidate.

In the end, though, it appears that voters were more interested in sending a message to the current president and his party. Former Democrat Senators Evan Bayh of Indiana and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin were perfect examples of the repudiation handed to Democrats. Bayh, who retired in 2010, and Feingold, who was defeated after his vocal support for ObamaCare, were recruited by top Senate Dem Chuck Schumer to run again and reclaim their seats. Both men were decisively defeated last night, and they can each likely thank ObamaCare.

Marco Rubio and Rand Paul, former presidential candidates who were both targets of Trump’s harsh primary campaign, both won re-election. Rubio had previously vowed to retire, but decided to give the Senate another go, winning his race with 52% of the vote.

Democrats did manage to pick up one seat in Illinois, where Tammy Duckworth defeated Republican incumbent Mark Kirk. But six other Republicans who were also elected to the Senate in 2010’s wave election were able to successfully defend their seats. This is a further indication that the public was and remains staunchly against ObamaCare and the hard-left governing style that rose out of the Obama administration.

Now the GOP will control the White House and all of Congress upon a presidential victory for the first time since 1928. We certainly hope that finally means ObamaCare’s days are numbered. And we also hope, along with that, the unconstitutional, autocratic method of government that we have had to suffer for these last eight years dies a well-deserved death.

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