Last Night's Major Victor: McConnell

NRSC, RGA also pull off major coups
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2014 7:11 AM CST
Updated Nov 5, 2014 7:26 AM CST
Last Night's Major Victor: McConnell
Mitch McConnell was a big winner last night.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Last night's victory for Mitch McConnell was a big one: He was expected to face a neck-and-neck race, but instead he was called the winner just after the polls closed, Chris Cillizza writes in the Washington Post. Starting next year, he's the Senate majority leader. Among the night's other key winners and losers:

  • The National Republican Senatorial Committee finally had a great night after years of trouble against Democrats. They managed to knock out Sens. Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan, and Mark Udall, while keeping a struggling Pat Roberts in the Senate.
  • As chair of the Republican Governors Association, another 2016 contender, Chris Christie, fought hard for important victories in Florida, Wisconsin, Maryland, and Illinois, USA Today reports.
  • On a more conceptual level, the Huffington Post saw it as a big night for "bullies." New York Rep. Michael Grimm beat out Domenic Recchia, even amid tax fraud charges and after a threat—caught on TV—to break a reporter "in half." His win helped Republicans gain what ABC News notes is an even larger majority in the House.

  • As for losers last night, President Obama was a big one: He earlier said that his "policies are on the ballot." The results, then, were a "near total repudiation" of those policies, USA Today notes. What's more, chances for a Democratic presidential victory in 2016 look weaker, the Huffington Post adds: The past three presidents have been elected under Congresses run by their parties.
  • Wendy Davis lost badly in the Texas gubernatorial race. She wasn't expected to win, Cillizza notes, but she was also an icon for those who hoped to see Texas eventually go blue. Instead, Republicans swept last night's races for Texas state offices, Mother Jones reports.
  • Harry Reid is out as Senate majority leader, and he could struggle even to keep his seat during the next election, USA Today reports. (The incoming majority leader, however, did get photobombed at the polls.)

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