If you didn't tune into a gazillion channels, websites and emails, you may have missed some of what went down last night. So we'll fill you in on some of what you missed:
- South Carolina Republicans won big in major races, with a clean sweep of all statewide offices and the ouster of Rep. John Spratt reducing the Democrats major office-holdings to Jim Clyburn, who easily brushed aside the under-funded and poorly-run campaign of Jim Pratt.
- State House Republicans picked up three seats, including one surprise, knocking out three Democratic incumbents: Tommy Pope prevailed over the senior House member Herb Kirsh in York County, Peter McCoy foreclosed on the most repulsive member of the House - Anne Peterson-Hutto - in a sobering victory in Charleston County, and CofC graduate student Kevin Ryan knocked off Georgetown Rep. Vida Miller.
- Meanwhile, a race that was expected to be a sure bet pickup for the GOP was blown when perennial candidate Sheri Few, well-known for two prior primary defeats and conspiracy theories for those defeats, lost to a relatively-unknown last minute fill-in Democratic candidate in House District 79.
But it wasn't just South Carolina where the GOP tide rolled. While a lot of the Democratic political bodies are yet to be tallied, what took place elsewhere was staggering:
- The folks at the National Conference of State Legislatures are keeping a tally of legislative chamber battles, reporting that "Republicans are on track to gain historic control of state legislatures. They could surpass their 1952 numbers, when they controlled 3,650 legislative seats".
- Virginia Republicans took three House seats and trailed in a 4th by less than 500 votes, including winning one in the mountains which most observers expected to remain in Democratic hands.
- North Carolina saw only one of four targeted House races fall to the GOP, but a landslide shift delivered an unexpected surprise when the GOP seized control of both Houses of the General Assembly to the GOP, just in time for redistricting (NC reapportionment plans are not subject to a gubernatorial veto). Expect major changes to take place in the often-gerrymandered Congressional districts that will give the GOP good rematch prospects in two years, as well as impact other districts.
- Georgia Republicans, like South Carolina, swept every single statewide office and took one House seat. This lock will likely impact the outcome of next year's reapportionment, in which Georgia should gain at least one additional House district.
- Alabama Republicans not only swept every statewide office and regained a House seat lost two years ago, but also won an unexpected upset, taking control of both houses of the legislature.
- Texas Republicans added to the U.S House takeover, with three Democrats losing their seats. They also retained every statewide office and massively expanded their legislative majority, with as many as 20 Democratic State House members swept out in the GOP tide. With 2-4 House seats likely to come their way with reapportionment, this will have a major impact upon the 2012 races.
- Pennsylvania Republicans took the Governor's race and control of the State House. Added to their control of their Senate, this gives them major impact in a state where the GOP lost heavily in recent Congressional races and is expected to lose two House seats.
- In Ohio, the GOP took back the State House and swept every statewide office, crucial in a state which is slated to lose a couple of House seats next year.
- Elsewhere ... for the first time in history, the Minnesota Senate will be controlled by the GOP. Add to that GOP control of the Indiana House, Iowa House, Maine House and Senate, Michigan House, New Hampshire House and Senate, and the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate. Battles for legislative control are still undecided in Colorado, Oregon and Washington.
... and the results keep coming in, but you get the point: the Democrats suffered major blows nationwide, with the GOP recovering much of its lost ground and reaching new heights in many states. How Obama deals with this, we don't know.
Again, a big THANK YOU to all the Blogland friends who kept us informed, as well as those folks we met at events last night!