By now we're all familiar with the fact that Republican victories on Election Day led to massive gains in Congress. Of course this puts the GOP in a much stronger position to advance its agenda - or at least thwart the Obama agenda for the next two years. Both are crucially important to be sure, but as most of us spend the weekend exchanging gifts, we should stop and consider a few of the other 2010 election "gifts" that are just as important for the long term.
Conservatives are more excited
The election validated over a year's worth of polls suggesting that conservatives were much more excited about casting their ballots than liberals or even independents were. The result was not only an overwhelming victory for Republicans, but an eight percent increase in voter turnout over the last midterm election in 2006.
This excitement demonstrated itself not only in results and turnout, but also in the candidates that were on the ballot to begin with. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there were 6,115 state legislative seats up for grabs, and over 11,000 candidates running. Of those, Republicans ran 822 more than in 2008, while Democrats ran 50 less. In other words, excited conservatives translated into more Republican candidates.
The State House Revolutions
Despite all of the national attention that was focused on the battle for control of Congress, another (and perhaps more important) battle was playing out down the ballot all across the country. Specifically, the battle to control state legislatures. The result was the biggest win for Republicans since 1928. read more »