Election Results - Republicans misread the importance of not alienating conservative voters. The result was loss of the House of Representatives by a convincing margin to Democrats led by San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi, who will become Speaker of the House.
Democrat faithfuls may have also obtained control of the U.S. Senate. With two senate races up for grabs on Wednesday, it is unclear if Republicans can retain majority vote in the senate. Regardless, of the tight senate races, one thing should be clear to Republicans: Republicans have lost their conservative base due to ineptness of GOP leadership. Too many political sandals, GOP avoided handling illegal immigration issues, no exit strategy regarding the war in Iraq and wasteful spending habits of taxpayers' funds.
Arrogance of GOP leadership lost conservative voter support and the result was a huge victory for the Democrats in many northern states.
However, in the south, Republicans managed to remain in control. GOP won large victories in Florida as Charlie Crist beat Democrat Jim Davis for the governor's seat. The Florida cabinet remains solid GOP except for a CFO win by Democrat Alex Sink. Bill McCollum easily won the Attorney General's race and Bill Nelson easily won the U.S. Senate seat over Katherine Harris.
Locally there were some upsets. Kim Berfield lost to Charlie Justice and Dottie Reeder lost to Janet Long. Gus Bilirakis won his race for a U.S. congressional seat and Ed Hooper beat Candice Jovan.
Pinellas County Commissioners John Morroni and Calvin Harris won re-election as well as senior U.S. Representative C.W. Bill Young.
Voters supported tougher annexation procedures in Pinellas County and changes to the Charter Commission rules.
In Belleair Bluffs voters did not support increasing term of office to three years. Further, Pinellas Suncoast Fire District's attempt to raise taxes by $70 failed. Incumbent Tom Hafner won re-election to the fire commission over Caroline Sofer.
In a closely followed U.S. House race, Republican Vern Buchanan beat Democrat Christine Jennings (Dist. 13).
Although election news was perhaps good for Republicans in Florida, the GOP took a beating in most every northern state, including Arizona (where illegal immigration issues were ignored). In Connecticut, incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman lost the Democrat primary to Ned Lamont and ran as an Independent candidate. Lieberman won re-election as an Independent (but has stated he would side with the Democrats). Arnold Schwarzenegger won re-election in California appealing to independent voters.
The 2006 election resulted in the largest turnover in the U.S. Congress since 1994. Democrats now run the House of Representatives and may end-up with control of the U.S. Senate. Six governorships went to Democrat candidates that were once held by Republicans. All in all, a huge victory for the Democrat Party.
What does this all mean?
Life will change throughout America. Taxes are likely to increase, capital gains, taxes and death taxes will increase, most of the GOP tax cuts will not be renewed past 2010, minimum wage rates will increase to $7.25, we may never see Association Health Plans (risk pools) to help lower rates, oil industry may see windfall profits taxes, more federal government intervention in health care benefits, more federal entitlements for welfare and medical care, tightening of military spending and more liberal judicial appointments. President Bush, on the other hand, will be forced to use his veto power to stop new laws supported by the new House leadership under Nancy Pelosi.
The recent wins by Democrats in most northern states, especially in Ohio and Pennsylvania, will set the stage for a likely Democrat win of the presidency in 2008.
The stage is set for new leadership in Washington. Current GOP leadership in Washington has failed and it is not known how the recent 2006 election might result in new people with new ideas in the Republican Party. Clearly, President Bush will not be of much help to GOP candidates in the 2008 presidential election.
New faces in 2008 with new ideas?
Time will tell.
Recount - Imagine, if you will, two U.S. Senate races where a voter recount would determine the fate of power in the U.S. Senate?
Talk about hanging chads.
In Montana and Virginia a mere thousand or so votes separate candidates.
Thus, there will be a ballot recount.
Bring in the lawyers, bring in partisan journalists, bring in Larry King, bring in the New York Times, bring in laptop computers, bring in tons of partisan political money and the ultimately fight the ballot recount issue in a courtroom where an appointed judge might decide a public election.
Of course, all of this recount business should be interesting since Florida was publicly criticized for being involved in a contentious election recount where a Republican won. It should be interesting to follow this recount mess and notice liberal press news if . . . a fellow Democrat wins the recount. (And potential court decision.)
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