I for one, started out with very minimal hopes for the Democrats. Looking at polls from Gallup and almost every other polling company, I was gearing up for a very bad night. Nate Silver at FiveThrityEight even developed a worse case scenario prediction that Republicans could take almost 80 House seats from the Democrats (they only took an estimated 65). Though it’s unlikely that we will know exactly what happened on November 2nd for several weeks, due to several very close races that we probably end up being decided in a legal battle, we do know the result of most seats.
Overall the results aren’t terrible, but they’re pretty bad. Some anti-choice politicians like NY governor hopeful Carl Paladino (R) were not elected. Paladino was defeated by about 25 points by pro-choice Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo. Pro-choice Barbra Boxer (D) also won California’s Senate, defeating Carly Fiorina (R), the former CEO of Hewlett Packard. This will be Boxer’s fourth term, and with a new governor of California, it will definitely be an important term. Boxer has stood up for women’s rights year after year, and if Fiorina had taken her seat, we would have lost a key ally in the United States Senate. In Connecticut, Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal (D) was able to win against WWE entrepreneur Linda McMahon (R). Finally, in Delaware, Senate candidate Chris Coons (D) defeated Christine O’Donnell (R) by a wide margin.
Sadly not all anti-choice candidates lost like these did. Jim DeMint (R) and Rand Paul (R) won their respective races. Within hours of their victories being announced, both men were on CNN talking about the possibility of creating a Tea Party Caucus as soon as the 112th Congress is in session. In Alaska Joe Miller’s (R) race is so close we will probably not know the winner for at least 2 weeks.
It is obvious that things will be changing over the next two years. From the possibility of adding a Tea Party Caucus, to having “Speaker Boehner,” things will be very different. Luckily those won’t involve abortion becoming illegal; Amendment 62 (so-called fetal person hood amendment) from Colorado failed to pass. As we hear more election results, it is things like that we must remember. We must look at the good news from the 2010 midterm elections, things like the Democrats controlling the Senate, and more than a third of Sarah Palin’s endorsed candidates not being elected. The media is going to be showing this election as a big win for Republicans, and it was, but they must see too that Democrats were victorious in many races.
At this point it is unclear if these elections were the end of a Tea Party fueled political storm, or just the beginning. We are in for a long and hard two years, and we will have to fight to regain control of the house in the 2012 election. Over the next 730 days we have to keep the movement alive throughout what is likely to be an uphill battle. Pro-choice candidates didn’t do as bad as many antis had hoped this year, but if we want a pro-choice president in 2012, we must do better. That being said, take a break for a few days, then pull out those canvassing shoes and phone banking phones because we’re going to need them.