A ‘regional’ GOP swamps the Democrats across heartland

The national maps of Tuesday’s election results have a pattern reminiscent of the Bush years: a huge swatch of red within a thin blue frame.

But there is one big difference. Back then, Democrats actually won beyond the coasts.

Two years ago, liberals told Republicans to move to the left or risk becoming a regional party for Southerners.

Today, that’s as laughable as President Obama’s promise to heal the planet and stop the ocean’s rise. Or that line about the stimulus keeping unemployment under 8 percent. Or the one where his health reform would prove popular. Or — well, you get the idea.

Speak no more of a “permanent majority” for either side, but it’s clear that the Republican tsunami of 2010 came ashore along the Great Lakes. That, along with changes due from redistricting, could mean the waves will keep crashing years from now.

The GOP did strengthen its grip across the South: Alabama’s statehouse is Republican for the first time since the 1870s. Democrats bled hard-won congressional seats in North Carolina and Virginia. And of course Georgia Republicans finally picked off Blue Dog Democrat Jim Marshall.

But consider these shocking results from Big Ten country:

In Wisconsin, the Democrats lost the governor’s mansion, both chambers of the statehouse and a U.S. Senate seat, while watching the congressional delegation flip to Republicans. Similar stories played out in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

In Illinois, the GOP took Barack Obama’s old Senate seat, and that state’s House delegation will also be mostly Republicans. Indiana was jolted out of its brief leftward drift.

Individual congressional races tell an even fuller story.

To be sure, the Democrats lost a large number of seats they’d captured from Republicans in 2006 and 2008.

But they also lost the seats of powerful committee chairmen like Minnesota’s Jim Oberstar (congressional Class of 1974) and Missouri’s Ike Skelton (Class of ’76). They lost Virginia’s Rick Boucher and South Carolina’s John Spratt (both Class of ’82). These were among the old liberal lions who pushed Americans until we pushed back Tuesday.

The Dems lost open seats in Arkansas, West Virginia and Wisconsin that they’d held since 1968. They lost Al Gore’s old House seat, which they’d controlled since ’82, and another Tennessee seat that had been Democratic since the 1920s.

Along the way, the landscape of “battleground” states may have changed dramatically.

Based on Tuesday’s results — and granted, it was just one election — you’d put swing states such as New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania squarely in the GOP’s column.

Republicans have to be pleased to go through redistricting with at least 29 governors and total control of half the nation’s state legislatures — including almost all of the states expected to gain seats and electoral votes in 2012.

Republicans now have a real opportunity to repeat the electoral success of the Reagan era. But such opportunity can be fleeting for a party that strays from the voters’ wishes.

Just ask the Democrats.

78 comments Add your comment

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 3rd, 2010
7:25 pm

Two years ago, liberals told Republicans to move to the left or risk becoming a regional party for Southerners.

I know, what asses-

Is the GOP now a regional party?

By Jay Bookman | Saturday, November 8, 2008, 12:49 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Republican Party dominates the South and has for quite a while. But conversely, the South more than ever now dominates the Republican Party. In fact, the issues that make the GOP the majority party in the South make it the minority party in most of the rest of the country.

Just sayin…

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 3rd, 2010
7:54 pm

Where have the RINOs gone?

Long time passing

Where have all the aisle reachers gone

Long time ago

Where have all the squishes gone

The Tea Baggers picked them every one

When will they ever learn

When will they eeeeevvvvveeeeerrrrrr learrrrrrrrnnnnnnnn?

mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!


November 3rd, 2010
8:15 pm

To say something is just southern is plain ignorant. It breaks down to this. . .repubs are for us working folks to keep what we earn. . . .dems are for us to give it away to the laZy folks that dont work or earn. . . .Im a worker. . .I should be able to keep what I earn :P . . after all. . by the sweat of my brow I earned it :P

Obama Regime Enforcer

November 3rd, 2010
8:30 pm

Jerry Brown and Harry Reid are symbols that all Americans want to continue the Obama Agenda.


November 3rd, 2010
8:48 pm

ya the great Obama deception :P . . . we live. . we learn. . we grow smarter. . if we listen :P


November 3rd, 2010
8:55 pm

Blue Dog Dems, as it turns out, were really yellow. Good riddance. As far as left & right, the ultra-liberals are 9 o’clocks & the ultra conservatives are 3 o’clocks. Now that we are left with ultra-liberals & ultra-conservatives, we are further away from agreement than we have ever been. Conservatives abandoned their principles during Bush & have learned their lesson. The federal govt. will be in a lock-down for 2 yrs.


November 3rd, 2010
9:01 pm

Too many people get caught up in big bro hearsay. . . wake up Peeps. . . thats what they want from us. . divide the people. . . Look. . really. . this is national Indian heritage month.. . how much do we really hear about us coming together as a national family?. . All we hear is about racist civil rights .. . ‘we the people’ need to be the family that we are. . don’t let big bro separate us. . black,white,red, brown. . we are all the human race. . . like I said . . . . we need a gov that dont over power the people. .. .there are more of us than them. . so they deceive us to keep peace between us and them :P

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 3rd, 2010
9:14 pm

obozo the lame duck.

You heard it here first.


November 3rd, 2010
9:15 pm

Kyle wrote, “…changes due from redistricting, could mean the waves will keep crashing years from now….Republicans have to be pleased to go through redistricting with at least 29 governors and total control of half the nation’s state legislatures — including almost all of the states expected to gain seats and electoral votes in 2012.

PERFECT evidence of the Kyle’s total hypocrisy.

Not more than a week ago, Kyle wrote a post that included criticism of Roy Barnes for the sin of redistricting the state in the Dems favor (while failing to point out that Georgia Republicans redrew the districts in their favor after Barnes was gone)? Now, just a few days later, Kyle leads us to believe that gerrymandering is a noncontroversial fact of life or, perhaps, a virtue.

Democrats lost for one reason and one reason only…the media. The fact-challenged, “it’s a center-right country,” corporate media (the AJC, the networks, CNN, and MSNBC included) has two sets of standards, one for Democrats and the other for Republicans. And Kyle reinforces this truth nearly every day.


November 3rd, 2010
9:27 pm

CJ @ 9:15, First of all, the Dems. did not loose. It was the progressives that lost. Until the Dems. rid themselves of the progressives, they will will continue to be booted out.
The alphabet media is no way responsible for the Tues. election since they have been in the tank for the Dems/progressives for years.


November 3rd, 2010
9:34 pm

Perhaps the one of the most amazing (and ridicululous) conclusions after this historic GOP rout is that Obama is now better positioned to hold the WH than he was prior to the election. As I noted on Bookman’s blog: Given the “change” we just experienced in the last ~2 years, it seems absurd to speculate about 2012. Given what last nights elections brought us, it is beyond absurd to conclude that Obama’s prospects for 2012 just improved.

Consider: 1.) He and his agenda just received a historic rebuke. 2.) The Dems still control the senate, so Obama will not have a two-headed GOP “monster” to campaign against. 3.) The GOP gubernatorial gains–especially in the swing-states of FL, PA, and OH–certainly does Obama no good when in comes to 2012.

Also, given the GOP gubernatorial gains along with redistricting, the GOP’s prospects of holding the House would seem to be on favorable ground. And given that the Dems must defend 23 Senate seats to the GOP’s 10, the chances of the Senate changing hands in 2012 would have to be better that even.

Meanwhile, in ANOTHER blow to gay marriage: Three Iowa Supreme Court justices lost their seats Tuesday in a historic upset fueled by their 2009 decision that allowed same-sex couples to marry.

Vote totals from 96 percent of Iowa’s 1,774 precincts showed Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit with less than the simple majority needed to stay on the bench.

Their removal marked the first time an Iowa Supreme Court justice has not been retained since 1962, when the merit selection and retention system for judges was adopted.

The decision is expected to echo to courts throughout the country, as conservative activists had hoped.

“It appears we’re headed for a resounding victory tonight and a historic moment in the state of Iowa,” said Bob Vander Plaats, the Sioux City businessman who led a campaign to remove the justices because of the 2009 gay marriage ruling. “The people of Iowa stood up in record numbers and sent a message … that it is ‘We the people,’ not ‘We the courts.’ “

Kyle Wingfield

November 3rd, 2010
9:52 pm

Nice try, CJ. When those Republican governors and legislatures begin carving up cities and counties in order to preserve majorities of GOP seats even though Democrats are winning majorities of the votes, as Barnes did to protect Democrats, they’ll deserve every bit as much criticism as Barnes got. But that kind of gerrymandering is a far cry from what I wrote or implied.


November 3rd, 2010
9:53 pm

Listened to Obama today. This guy is incredable. It’s this it’s that, but not what I’ve done. The losses will continue for the dem’s in 2012 including this one term president. He sure fooled me. By the way I’m a card holding AFL-CIO union member for 30 years. A lot of us feel this way about this phony man. Yes Barak, this is ALL about you.

Kyle Wingfield

November 3rd, 2010
9:55 pm

And CJ’s continual blaming of the media for Democrats’ problems never fails to make me laugh. I mean, we all know how in the tank CNN and MSNBC are for the GOP…

Obama Regime Enforcer

November 3rd, 2010
9:58 pm

CJ @9:15

with all due respect, ajc blogging is a free and open discussion forum. Most of the moderators allow free speech.

ajc does this better than almost any other news site in the US.



November 3rd, 2010
10:05 pm

Linda, “First of all, the Dems. did not loose. It was the progressives that lost.

And Linda chimes in at 9:27 to parrot the television and talk radio narrative that completely contradicts the evidence.

Members of the House Progressive caucus, more than 80 Democratic representatives, lost four seats yesterday. On the other hand, members of the Blue Dog caucus (conserva-Dems) lost about half of their 50-something members yesterday. Rather than trying to make the case for Democratic positions, Blue Dogs pretended to be Republicans (e.g. “I’m voting against Nancy Pelosi for Speaker”) and suffered as a result. House Progressives, on the other hand, stated their case and did quite well.

In short, if not for the conserva-Dems, House Dems would be in a much better position right now. The lesson, most definitely, is not for Democrats to move to the right. The lesson is for Democrats to get on television and radio and make their case…because the corporate media won’t do it for them.

Obama Regime Enforcer

November 3rd, 2010
10:10 pm

Olbermann, Maddow and Ed Schultz from MSNBC should have a rally for their own bailouts.

Hopefully Comcast management will blast these losers out the door when they take over.

Obama Regime Enforcer

November 3rd, 2010
10:20 pm

CJ – How do Democrats, “get on television and radio and make their case…because the corporate media won’t do it for them.” without appearing on corporate media?

Who do you think owns TV, Radio, Cable and ISPs?


November 3rd, 2010
10:26 pm

One word CJ, delusional. Those ultra liberal (progressive) dems are in the NE and left coast. The rest are in middle of the road districts that ran with Obama and his coat tails. That is, the rest of America. We know how health care came about. The mafia doesn’t have anything on this group from Chicago and Las Vegas. How about JOBS! Got alot of folks at my church that have been out of work for two years or more. How about the spending. The big smile and speaches (and lies) don’t work anymore. Why didn’t Obama go after the bank barrons who still continue to rob and pillage this country? Because his money come from them too. A big PHONEY. And we know it.

Real Deal

November 3rd, 2010
10:33 pm

Is Georgia a great state or what in electing one of the 15 most corrupt pols in congress as their governor? I bet none of our fine christian hypocrotes who are against crime voted for the Real Deal,lmao!!!!


November 3rd, 2010
10:38 pm

Real Deal. A lot of folks in Vegas feel your pain.


November 3rd, 2010
11:02 pm

“That kind of gerrymandering,” Kyle? There’s a kind of gerrymandering that’s acceptable? You can rationalize with the best of them.

On the media issue, I’m glad you’re having a good laugh, but I suspect you’re really laughing because the AJC published a glowing, but b.s., article in today’s paper about what a hard worker John Boehner is (nice of them to go out of their way to dispute notions that Boehner is actually a bit of a slacker).

Compare that to false reports shortly after Pelosi became Speaker that she demanded a bigger airplane (in fact, she requested a plane that could get her home nonstop—she didn’t mention anything about size).

In addition, last night, CNN had a 30 minute panel discussion about ethically-challenged, former half-term Governor Sarah Palin’s influence on the election (her endorsed candidates lost more than they won, but CNN led their audience to believe otherwise). Of course, Palin is entirely a media-driven, money-driven creature with little or no special expertise or accomplishment that would otherwise elevate her every uninformed utterance to newsworthy status.

No, I’m sorry, but the liberal media myth is just another among many.


November 3rd, 2010
11:18 pm

McDonough: “We know how health care came about. The mafia doesn’t have anything on this group from Chicago and Las Vegas.

Yes, we do. The same way the Bush tax cuts came about…reconciliation in the Senate (I guess the mafia doesn’t have anything on that group from Texas and Mississippi).

Come to think of it, McDonough, you probably didn’t know that both of Bush’s tax cuts (2001 and 2003) were passed via reconciliation. It must have slipped the corporate media’s collective mind.

Of course, if you think like Kyle, then “that kind of reconciliation” (i.e., the Republican kind) is okay.

get out much?

November 3rd, 2010
11:28 pm

Since the GOP is so gung ho to repeal Obamacare, maybe they can get rid of these programs as well: EMTALA and SCHIP – after all we can’t have government in the health care business. It will be interesting to see if they are more than the party of no (ideas).

Recent Grad

November 4th, 2010
2:35 am

Once upon a time the democratic party was for blue-collar workers and farmers. But that was long ago, so the blue collar workers and farmers defected to the republican party. Why they think the republicans care about them, I can’t imagine. Anyway, to the democratic party: Can you hear us now!

Lil' Barry Bailout

November 4th, 2010
5:29 am

The last president to inspire such a huge victory by the opposing party was Herbert Hoover.


November 4th, 2010
5:47 am

Enter your comments here


November 4th, 2010
6:00 am

A word of caution, what if the election wasn’t an endorsement for the fright wing agenda? Maybe angry voters were in the mood to fire incumbents. We live in a two party system, and you can only fire one party at a time. Enjoy your majority. blow it with partisan squabbling and see where you wind up in two years. A word of caution, what if the election wasn’t an endorsement for the fright wing agenda? Maybe angry voters were in the mood to fire incumbents. We live in a two party system, and you can only fire


November 4th, 2010
6:12 am

The last time a large Republican majority came the House we got NAFTA which was to help stem the flow of illegal immigrants. How did that work out for ya?


November 4th, 2010
6:16 am

@get out much?
You are exactly right. When Sen. Rand Paul gets up and reminds other senators that farm subsidies are not mentioned in the Constitution, Sen. Chamblis will have the same look on his face that Democrats currently have.


November 4th, 2010
6:23 am

I voted Republican in every election until George W. Bush ran, and I couldn’t even hold my nose and vote for him. For years, I would vote for the Republicans that promised tort reform, tax reform, and a balanced budget. In my opinion, the specious lawsuits, not just in the medical field, but in every sector of our economy, sucks billions of dollars in profits from companies that could use that money for research, development and job creation. When the Republicans had control of both houses of Congress, the White House, AND the Supreme Court,I thought, this is it! We’ll get it done. Instead, the pinheads wasted their time and political capital on issues like keeping Terry Schiavo alive (they spent HOURS and HOURS on this issue that was a private matter), keeping gays from getting married, trying (in this state) to get evolution removed from textbooks, starting two unfunded and unnecessary wars (that are unwinnable by any definition) that have gone on for more years than WWI,WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam Nam. Let’s not even mention the USAA Patriot Act, slammed down our throats by the Bush bunch, that is the most detrimental eviseration of the the Constitution that has EVER passed through Congress (and no, they didn’t read it–good Repugs, all!). Oh, lets don’t forget Medicare Part D–the largest entitlement program ever conceived by a President, shoved down our throats after Bush lied about the costs, gave perks to Big Pharma, and then, just to put icing on the cake, unfunded the trillions of dollars that it will cost. So, forgive me if I don’t believe a word they say. The people of this country voted in right-wing nuts that will now think that they have been given a mandate to tell the rest of us how to live. When they are out campaigning against BIG GOVERNMENT, and talking about how they are going to get government out of our lives, does this mean they will now pass tort reform, stop meddling in social affairs that are none of government’s business???? I DON’T THINK SO! I give them until February before they start the anti-abortion, anti-birth control, etc drum beat. And I assure you, from the floor of the House we will hear the words, “But the American People have given us this MANDATE to regulate your life.” Two years from now, we will have crushing debt, no tort reform, no real tax reform. By the way, the reason we have such a mess because of the Bush tax cuts is because the Repugs didn’t have the backbone to really fix the tax issue, so they put a bandaid on the problem that disappeared this year and restored the same mess in 2011 to the way it was when Bush (rot his soul) dreamed it up in 2003. But, by God we will have the Queen Bimbo (”I want my red shoes and bendy straws!!!) in the White House. We are doomed.

the mehlman rings twice

November 4th, 2010
7:09 am

@Lil’ Barry Bailout:
The last president to be handed such an economy since the end of Herbert Hoover.

Bush 1 – S & L bailout – 757 institutions bailed out for $160 billion.
Bush 2 – 18 investments banks and corporations bailed out for $325 billion.

Don’t you just hate reminders?

A Hearty Cheese Sauce

November 4th, 2010
7:18 am

Seems CJ is out to lunch like the rest of the Democratic party. Bottom line is Pelosi, Obama brought this all on themselves. If Reid wouldve been booted it would be a Home Run. Nonetheless, God is good.

God delivered to the Dems a Heavy defeat and in such a way their backs will be to the wall for years to come. Like was said earlier, we needed a Jimmy Carter to get a Reagan/Rep revolution.

Seems we needed an Imam Obama to get a Rep Revolution.

Thanks Barry, you handed it to us on a silver platter.


November 4th, 2010
7:19 am

Ghostwriter, NAFTA was passen in 1993. Gingrich and repubs took over in 1994. A dem house, repub senate and dem president gave us the gift of NAFTA.

A Hearty Cheese Sauce

November 4th, 2010
7:19 am

Ghost. Im hoping we have a Tea Party candidate to run against Chambliss when he is up for a re-vote.


November 4th, 2010
7:23 am

Bob November 4th, 2010
7:19 am

Wrong…NAFTA was actually passed in 1992…

In 1988 Canada and the United States signed the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement after which the U.S. Congress approved implementing legislation. The American government then entered into negotiations with the Mexican government for a similar treaty, and Canada asked to join the negotiations in order to preserve its perceived gains under the 1988 deal.[1] The climate at the time favored expanding trade blocs, such as the Maastricht Treaty, which created the European Union in 1992. Following diplomatic negotiations dating back to 1986 among the three nations, the leaders met in San Antonio, Texas, on December 17, 1992, to sign NAFTA. U.S. President George H. W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas, each responsible for spearheading and promoting the agreement, ceremonially signed it. The agreement then needed to be ratified by each nation’s legislative or parliamentary branch.


November 4th, 2010
7:50 am

Most of the comments about a “permanent majority” in 2008 came from leftist media pundits. What do those guys smoke?

Witches, Warlocks, and Trolls, (oh, my!)

November 4th, 2010
7:56 am

Even though Christine O’donnell lost, Repudlickans scored a sweeping victory….. (you probably can write the rest of this, so I wont bother).

Road Scholar

November 4th, 2010
7:59 am

DebinAthens: Well said! What about a multi subject lottery here in Georgia? The games are what date will the first anti-abortion, gun, and tax break for businesses (that is not paid for)bill be proposed? oh, add a fourth- unlimited vouchers for private schools.


November 4th, 2010
8:29 am

In this Country both political parties and all the media bombard the voting public with heavy doses of lies, distortions, half-truths, propaganda and brain washing. The Republicans and The Tea Party along with their supporting media did the best job. It is just that simple and just that disgusting.


November 4th, 2010
8:35 am

Does anyone else find it interesting that the states with the worst public schools, highest drop out rates, highest teen pregnancy rates, and highest obesity rates happen to be in the Southeast and Midwest and also happen to lean conservative/Republican??? Oh, and did I mention they are also filled with a bunch of fanatic religious nutbags?


November 4th, 2010
8:50 am

Technically you are right (and I stand corrected). However, read on,
… House of Representatives approved NAFTA on November 17, 1993, by a vote of 234 to 200. The agreement’s supporters included 132 Republicans and 102 Democrats. NAFTA passed the Senate 61-38. Senate supporters were 34 Republicans and 27 Democrats. Clinton signed it into law on December 8, 1993; it went into effect on January 1, 1994.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 4th, 2010
9:01 am

For the economics-challenged among us, the North American Free Trade Agreement was the cause for the US economic boom throughout the 1990s. The boom did not start until after ratification, and I credit President Clinton with having the good sense to push it through. You will notice the opposite effect in the anti-free trade Smoot-Hawley Act, that led to a 15 year economic collapse.


November 4th, 2010
10:17 am

rest assured, no expense will be spared to reach fiscal responsibility


November 4th, 2010
10:24 am

What’s with this McConnell guy?

House republicans correctly say that they are going to do the people’s business and the people spoke loud and clear: Cut spending, balance the budget, cut the size and scope of government and cut unemployment.

So, what is the number one priority of McConnell? Beat President Obama in 2012. House republicans are focused on improving the lot of the American people. The Senate Minority Leader is focused on politics.


November 4th, 2010
10:28 am

Looking back on it all, the premise behind NAFTA was that specific gov’t subsidies, tariffs, and quotas should have been eliminated in exchange for providing jobs in the lower wage earning countries. The problem was that both Dem and Rep adminstrations did not vigorously enforce the agreement/legislation thanks to payoff by lobbyists.


November 4th, 2010
10:29 am

Pelosi was for draining the swamp. The swamp draining has begun. The speakership loss should give her a big clue the dam has been breached and 2012 can’t come soon enough.

barking frog

November 4th, 2010
10:33 am

Mcconnell speaks the truth, without a veto proof
Congress the Republicans can only hope to get
the President gone to enact their agenda.

barking frog

November 4th, 2010
10:37 am

BTW Kyle you were the most accurate of the AJC Bloggers
in your prediction of election results…Congratulations.


November 4th, 2010
10:47 am

“The last president to inspire such a huge victory by the opposing party was Herbert Hoover.”

Actually it was a much more recent Republican president.

In 2006 the GOP went ZERO for 36 in contested seats for the US Congress, governorships and of course the White House.

ZERO for 36!

A reverse Joe DiMaggio like record that will never be touched…