Tuesday’s midterm elections “a night of almost unrelenting misery for Democrats.” The New York Times
characterized it as a “repudiation” of President Barack Obama. And The Washington Post
wrote that Election Day 2014 was “a day when anger at Washington gridlock was turned against a president who took office promising to transcend it.”
The overarching theme: a Republican tidal wave swept through America on Tuesday, and much of the blame lies with the president. Many Democrats opted to keep their distance from Obama, fearing that being seen together would hurt their re-election chances.
In the six states where Obama campaigned for seven candidates, just two won decisive victories, according to Politico
In Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf won the governor’s race and in Michigan, Gary Peters won the Senate. Democratic gubernatorial candidates lost in Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Maryland and Wisconsin.
Connecticut’s Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, had pulled ahead of his Republican challenger early Wednesday, according to the Hartford Courant
, while votes were still being counted
Even members of Obama’s inner circle couldn’t sugarcoat the results.
Longtime adviser David Axelrod took to Twitter to state the obvious.
On CNN, former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to put a positive spin on it, Politico reported.
"I know that Barack Obama is a very competitive person," Carney said. "And I know that he will look at the final two years of his presidency as an opportunity to secure his legacy by getting some things done.
"And if the only way to get something done is by reaching out, and trying to find bipartisan compromise with a Republican Congress, I believe he will try to do that."
For the first time in eight years, the GOP will have a majority in the Senate, winning previously Democratic seats in North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana and South Dakota.
The party will also keep control of the House, gaining at least 12 seats, according to Fox News
, "expanding their majority beyond their post-World War II record of 246 seats in 1946."
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus blamed the president for the rout, according to the Times.
"Barack Obama has our country in a ditch, and many of his lieutenants running for the Senate were right there with him," Priebus said. "The punishment is going to be broad, and it’s going to be pretty serious."
House Speaker John Boehner took a more placid tone, CNN reported.
"This is not a time for celebration," he said. "It's time for government to start getting results and implementing solutions to the challenges facing our country, starting with our still-struggling economy."
Sen. Mitch McConnell, who coasted to victory in Kentucky, is anticipated to go from Senate minority to majority leader.
"For too long, this administration has tried to tell the American people what is good for them and then blame somebody else when their policies didn't work out," McConnell said in his victory speech.
The president did not make a statement Tuesday evening. He has invited leaders from both parties to a meeting at the White House on Friday.
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