New Mandate in Election 2010: To Obama’s “hope,” electorate says “nope”

Even the blizzard of numbers and results on the morning-after are overwhelmed on post-election morning 2010 by the expected-yet-stunning reversal of fortune for Democrats almost everywhere in the country and the realization that the deeper you dig the redder the roots.

It has been 62 years since the House of Representatives has seen the sea change the magnitude of 2010, with the Republicans seeing a net gain of some 63-67 seats. Perhaps an even greater evidence of deep red roots through the country was the tide of red ink in state legislatures nationally: Republicans have seen a net gain of more than 500 seats nationally (the GOP will fill the most state legislative seats since 1928). That is a tsunami. 

Some pundits have said the message of the electorate was unclear, and certainly the challenge of governing is harder than hard-enough task of getting elected. But the message, or the mandate, of voters nationwide couldn’t be clearer. To the Obama administration’s and Democratic Congress’s version of “hope,” the electorate said “nope.”

These additional reflections:

  • Christian Statesman: I am delighted to see Dan Coats return to the Senate. He is a strong Christian and during his first run in the Senate he was a shining example of a Christian statesman. There have been too few since then, and it is good to have Coats return to office.
  • Lukewarm Tea?: Although the Republicans and Tea Party may form something like what would be a coalition government in a parliamentary system, the Tea Partiers—and their most national patron, Sarah Palin—saw both gains and losses in the election. I’m having a difficult time seeing the benefit of a Democratic senator in Delaware and a continuation of Harry Reid’s reign as the price for Tea Party purity in those primaries. It appears that Murkowski will “refudiate” the Tea Party candidate in Palin’s Alaska—which has to be an embarrassment to both the TP and the former Governor. Working out those questions will determine whether the Tea Party becomes a viable force or a temporary movement. Either way, they were enough of a force in 2010 to drive the numbers to historic levels.
  • No to legal marijuana: Although there is some support among even conservatives to allow people to be stupid enough to smoke marijuana if they choose, I’m not there at this point and I welcome this rejection by California. I’m surprised (because Calif. seems to have missed the red memo that the rest of the country received), but pleased. Bill Mayer can take that and smoke it on his program. 
  • Shift in the Heartland: A particularly encouraging shift—and one that bodes well for Republicans in the next election—is the important gains from the rustbelt to the heartland, with Senate and gubernatorial pick-ups in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Together with Florida (where Republicans cleaned up), that’s where presidential elections are won and lost.

About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group ( Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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