The Morning After

Posted by | November 3, 2010 09:46 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

There will be a lot of ink spilled over the next week or so analyzing last night’s results.  I wanted to get my thoughts down before being influenced by too much outside punditry.

  • The big winner last night was the GOP establishment.  For all the theories that will be spouted, it’s not real complicated.  They outlined a strategy of obstruction in early 2009, and followed it with admirable discipline.  The economy stayed bad ensuring that the strategy would work.  The large gains means that if (or when, in my mind) Obama wins in 2012 he would need to pull 30 House seats with him.  Not an easy task.
  • The results for the Tea Party folks are mixed.  On one hand, they deserve some credit for the Republican victories in the House.  On the other, they cost the Republicans the Senate.  The Republicans that took Democratic seats on the Senate side (Portman, Hoeven, Coats, but less so Toomey) are old style Washington insiders.  The faces of the Tea Party, Angle, O’Donnell, and probably Buck and Miller all lost.  Jim DeMint will have Rand Paul and Marco Rubio to keep him company, but not much more.
  • The Blue Dogs got decimated.  It’s tempting to say, “If only you were more progressive . . .”  but I don’t think that is right.  Blue Dogs were Blue Dogs because of the districts they came from.  These were always the most vulnerable seats and weren’t going to withstand a wave like yesterday.  The Democratic caucus in the House will now be more uniform and unified . . . and smaller.

More on policy implications later today if I don’t fall asleep from staying up and watching returns.

(On predictions I nailed the Senate #(but swapped NV and IL) and was far off in the House — mostly on in the governors but still a lot of races to be called. Yashwanth and JG (who commented on my predictions) did much better on the House than I did but not the Senate.)

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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