Election Analysis--Results--Nationally--posted by Tony Garcia on 11/16/2006
There are two ways to look at the 2006 Elections nationally. The Republicans are now trying to put the silver lining on that the losses were not as heavy as they typically are historically in the 6th year of a Presidency. So, that means the GOP held its own.
Actually the GOP did not hold its own. They failed in Congress and they failed in the elections. Going into the elections their projections were losses of the House…barely…and keeping the Senate. These losses were what the GOP field troops were trying to stave off and failed. The GOP also failed in their honest assessments about how bad things were going to be. This may indicate an inability to look at the causes to the 2006 massacre.
If the silver lining were a valid point of salvation then there should have been celebration by the Republican Party for holding the lines. That was not the case. The more accurate picture is the Party is looking for a reason to avoid facing the failures of itself from 1994 to 2006.
The other way to look at the elections is that the GOP was hammered and it was worse than people expected. It was bad with no prospect of a silver lining. Think about it. Nearly every "in play" seat with a GOP incumbent was lost. No "in play" seat with a Democrat incumbent was lost. The majorities were lost in both chambers…contrary to what most people believed. And the GOP has nowhere to turn but within to discover why.
Recovering alcoholics generally talk about hitting rock bottom. That is the point where there is nothing left to blame, no excuses left to turn to and the point where it cannot get worse. The GOP hit that point…almost. They are still out blaming the voter and the conservatives that did not support the GOP in whole. They are still looking for silver linings rather than a serious look internally.
The real answer...the GOP took their base for granted, failed to push the agenda they promised their base and gave the base no reason to support the GOP.
Look around the country and examine the Issues that were forced into discussion. Conservativism won everywhere except Minnesota and California. Abortion: the ban in South Dakota lost by 9% and that was without including an exemption in the ban for "rape and incest". Include that exception and the ban will pass. Once passed it will be on a collision course with Roe v Wade.
Minimum wage was passed state by state. Not a victory for those states but it is a victory for local government. The states are making those decisions and not the Federal Government.
English as an official language…passed. Gay marriage bans…all but 1 passed and that one barely failed. Beyond that it is believed that one would have passed if it had the exception allowing for civil unions.
Many of the campaigns nationally for Republicans ran away from two major things. One was all things Bush and the other was all things conservative. Those candidates lost. The reasoning is simple.
The Republican candidates were running to the middle or the Left but the voters on the Left already had their choice made for the Democrats. The people on the Right were divided…some felt an need to sacrifice their principles to save the party while others refused to vote for the Republicans that were not conservative. The moderates were also split in the anti-status quo and the pro-Democrat philosophies.
With solid Democrat blocks and divided conservative blocks the Republican candidates who were running away from conservativism had no chance of winning. In some cases the Republicans were not only running from conservativism but their own voting record. That is an impossible campaign to win.
The Democrats have blocks of voters they count on. Blacks, teacher's unions, etc. all vote overwhelmingly for Democrats even when the Democrats ignore the blocks. Republicans have blocks they count on as well, but these blocks expect results. Fiscal conservatives are one example of these blocks.
In 1992 these conservative blocks let the Republican Party know that it cannot take the conservatives for granted. The response was a 1994 overtaking of Congress with Republican candidates that promised conservative ideals and Congressional reform. 2006 the conservatives again let the Republican Party know that conservatives do not blindly follow party lines.
Coming next: Results--Statewide part 1