I didn’t get much done last night, other than watch the election returns. Yesterday, before I left the office, I wrote out a worksheet of the 14 races which polls said were in dispute in the battle for control of the Senate. I tracked them, watched the numbers and finally called it a night around midnight. Here are some of my observations today.
1) It was a Red Tsunami.
For most of the night, Juan Williams tried to argue against calling this a “wave” – I don’t know why. By the end of the night, he was admitting the obvious. As best I can tell, there was only 1 of those 14 races in which the Republican candidate failed to exceed his or her polling numbers. The RCP average for McConnell was +7; he won by 14 points. Joni Ernst led the polls by about 2 points and won by 8. Roberts and the independent candidate (Orman) in Kansas were in a dead heat and last I looked, Roberts was winning by over 10 points.
Was that bad polling? I doubt it. There were hints in the last couple of days that the movement was away from Obama and the Dems and toward the Republicans. It was a high tide for the Red side.
2) The Republican leadership CAN’T blow this, but a lot of us Republicans think they’ll probably find a way.
I tweeted this morning: “GOP: don’t blow this.” A certain Dr. Barber tweeted back, “Water: don’t be wet.” There is a lot of cynicism among Republicans about the ability of our national leaders to conserve these gains and do a good job. Traditionally, we’ve done better at criticizing Democrats (well-deserved!) than at governing effectively.
3) The biggest threat against these gains is Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, John Kasich, etc.
These are among the names being bandied about as potential hindrances to the Hillary Clinton steamroller in 2016. Republicans need to pass effective laws and put them on Obama’s desk. If they are vetoed they at least provide the nation with a sense of what the GOP wants to do and where they want to lead the country.
But if the potential top-of-ticket names get in a spitting match, dragging Republicans into internecine wars instead of effective government, it will probably mean that the 2016 election night will not be nearly as fun as this one was for me!
I don’t know how gigantic egos can work together, but they need to or this will be a blip, not a trend.
4) Everyone in 49 states are glad they don’t live in Louisiana, which has been “blessed” with another month of political ads.
I’m not sure I could stand it.
I can’t believe those ads work, but they must or candidates would stop doing them. The Ernst-Braley ads here were awful. I hit the mute button every time one came on.
5) C’mon, Man! Count the votes!!
How on earth can we have computerized voting all over the place and there are still votes not counted today? I don’t get it. Seems like we ought to be able to hit a total button when the polls close and have the results within a minute or so. Of course, that won’t work in Chicag0 where they still have to count the votes the “machine” collects from cemetaries and such, but in normal parts of America, it doesn’t seem like counting the vote ought to take this long.
6) Joni Ernst will be skewered on SNL this week (with a Howard Dean impersonator, too?).
I voted for Mrs. Ernst, but her cackling laughter into the mic at her press conference was annoying. I’m sure her team will make sure she never does that again. But SNL will have a skit this week featuring Joni Ernst’s evil laugh – I think you can count on that.
7) Whatever happens from here on out, removing Harry Reid from Senate leadership is worth a rousing celebration.
I may say the same about Mitch McConnell in the future, but right now, sending Reid to the sidelines is a cause for rejoicing.
8) Win or lose at the polls, our primary job remains the same.
I am fascinated by politics, and I think it matters, but our primary task is to make Jesus known in the world, to obey the Great Commission, and to live out our heavenly citizenship. American politics has its place, but if it goes beyond that place, it can easily become an idol. The good news of Jesus is our message!
Now, back to being a pastor…