I was sitting in the studio at 600 WBOB AM (100.3 FM) shortly after polls closed on Election Day. As early coverage of the races began, I got word that Charlie Crist had asked a judge to extend voting hours in Broward County. Based on reportage this morning, it sounds more like Crist wanted the polls reopened.
The fact Crist wanted more time in Broward told me one thing—his night wasn’t going as planned.
Broward is one of the Democrats’ sweet spots in Florida. By the time it became apparent turnout in Miami-Dade wasn’t going as planned either, I figured even if the race stayed close, Gov. Rick Scott would get that second term he worked so hard for and, if you look at his record, he deserved for a job well done the first go-round.
I’d voted on Saturday, and I’d talked to many voters from both parties. By the time I cast my vote, I felt like Scott would win. For one thing, I hadn’t met a single Democrat who really wanted to vote for Crist, and I had talked to quite a few Democrats who swore they weren’t going to vote at all. I knew how those “no-vos” felt. I felt the same way in 2008, but I did my duty and voted anyway.
SEN. SCOTT: YOUTH SHOULD “BREAK THE STATUS QUO”
As tallies and updates came in Tuesday evening, I surfed the Web for news on the Senate races in Iowa, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. When I learned Sen. Tim Scott had been reelected, I was thrilled. I’ve met Scott a couple times, and he is a remarkable speaker with a personal pedigree of hard work against the odds and a steadfast determination to stay focused on the issues.
Scott was on Fox and Friends this morning, and he was asked about Democrats’ use of the race card as worried incumbents seized any tactic in an effort to get people to the polls. Admitting he thought race relations in America had become “worse,” Scott said, “Too many kids face the choice of dumbing down to fit in.” He offered youth a bit of advice: “Don’t fit in…be you.” And he said youth should break the “status quo.” For Sen. Scott, the “black enough” meme rings hollow.
Scott said the black community should take a step back. “There shouldn’t be a single stereotypical definition of what it means to be black enough.”
Scott also said the left uses the race issue as a “calling card for political gain, creating an unnecessary rift in the country.” Scott trounced his opponents, winning his seat in a state routinely vilified by Democrats as racist.
GOP EXCEEDED OWN EXPECTATIONS
Shortly before the polls closed on the East Coast, I’d heard Juan Williams remark he didn’t expect a GOP wave—I think he called it a “ripple”. By night’s end, Williams was acknowledging a wave that was in fact closer to a tsunami.
The GOP picked up 7 Senate seats and stands to pick up more in Louisiana, for example, where Sen. Mary Landrieu will go up against the Republican Bill Cassidy. The Senate race in that state had two Republicans, with one, Rob Maness, siphoning votes from Cassidy. By Dec. 6, when the Landrieu-Cassidy runoff takes place, it’s likely many Maness supporters will opt for a Republican rather than a Democrat who is part and parcel of a party that blew major opportunities voters conferred in 2006 and 2008.
On Tuesday, Republicans managed to take 12 House seats from Democrats’ hands. The GOP gained 3 governorships, bringing the total number of states to be governed by a Republican to 31.
As it now stands, the GOP has 52 Senate seats and Dems have 45. In the US House, the GOP has 243 seats while Democrats have 175.
Those numbers represent a wave for sure, but they represent something else as well. Voters want real problems fixed—the economy, healthcare, national security, tax reform, and the issue politicos call immigration. The GOP must also sow a climate of inclusion rather than the divisiveness Democrats are obsessed with. There is a critical need as well to reform the federal bureaucracy, a vast entity bleeding taxpayer money, pushing rogue politics for power, and failing core missions.
Headlines across the land noted the Republican “wave”, the breaking of Dems’ “blue wall”, the “evaporating” majority for Democrats.
I manned my studio berth at WBOB and prayed no Republican would act stupidly as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) did after Democrats’ sweep in 2006. Pelosi took to the stump to crow about her party’s wins, promising to “drain the swamp” and bashing President George W. Bush.
By night’s end, Crist had conceded to Gov. Scott here in Florida.
Illinois voters went to bed having elected a Republican governor. Bruce Rauner took 50.73 percent of the vote to Pat Quinn’s 45.89. I recalled how pundits predicted a very close race.
In Iowa Joni Ernst became the first US senator the state elected, and she’s the first woman in the history of the US Senate to have served in the military. She handed her Democrat opponent his walking papers via an electoral wipeout. It wasn’t even close.
As a matter of fact, close races were predicted in a number of races that turned out to be not so close.
GOV. SCOTT’S EXCELLENT ADVICE
The day after the election, many losers in the Democrats’ camp are likely nursing hangovers. Winners in the GOP camp are likely doing the same.
There are two takeaways among many in the 2014 Elections.
2016 is now officially underway and candidates from both parties will begin to be more visible and vocal. In the Dems’ camp, keep an eye on Elizabeth Warren who will likely attempt to parlay her Senate seat into a presidential run just as former Sec. of State and Sen. Hillary Clinton did.
Supporters of both parties are nursing hangovers today, commiserating and celebrating.
The more painful hangovers are being nursed by Dems who received a resounding rejection of gender and race baiting, collectivism and big government, and a refusal to be honest with Americans about everything from national security to the taxes in Obamacare/PPACA.
In a post at the Republican National Committee blog, Kirsten Kukowski summed up the climate before polls closed: “[W]e’re on the verge of something historic.”
On Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign site, a thank you appeared with a message the GOP should take to heart:
“It’s time to put all the division behind us, it’s time to come together.
Forget all the partisanship. Florida is on a mission – and that mission is to keep growing, and to become the very best place in the world to raise a family, to get a good paying job, to make a career, and build a great life.
We have made great strides in the past four years, but now is not the time to let up or rest on our laurels.
Now is the time to charge boldly ahead.”
Featured Photo: Gov. Rick Scott with First Lady Ann in Florida. (From campaign video “Believe”; Rick Scott campaign)
(Analysis by Kay B. Day/Nov. 5, 2014)
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