Republicans are going to have a chance to do some governing. A lot of it.
In Washington, the GOP wrested control of the Senate from Democrats after two straight disappointing cycles in that chamber, while adding to its majority in the House. The new majority party in the Senate will have between 53 and 55 seats, depending on the outcomes in Alaska and Virginia and a runoff next month in Louisiana. Their numbers will include two new faces from Georgia: David Perdue, who won our Senate race without the runoff many predicted, and Rick Allen, who finally caught the state GOP’s great white whale, five-term congressman John Barrow.
As many as 32 states stood to have Republican governors, as the party picked up four governors — including such blue states as Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts — and lost only one, Pennsylvania (pending final vote totals in some states). And in a sign of just how good a night it was for the GOP, the party gained seats in both chambers of Pennsylvania’s statehouse despite the defeat of Gov. Tom Corbett.
What kind of night was it for the GOP? Here in Georgia, one John F. Kennedy was elected to the state Senate … as a Republican. He will be part of a two-thirds majority in that body, while Republicans remain one seat shy of a two-thirds majority in the House. And, of course, Gov. Nathan Deal won re-election without a runoff and, pending late results, may have also done so with the same percentage of the vote as four years ago. Just like four years ago, the party appears to have swept the entire statewide slate by double-digits.
In the coming days, we’ll dissect just what went right for Republicans — and wrong for Democrats — in Georgia in particular. And what the GOP needs to do with this surprisingly strong show of support from the voters.