If it looks like a wave, feels like a wave and crashes down like a wave — it’s a wave, right?
That’s exactly what slammed down on Democrats and their majority in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday night. Consider all of the Republican victories:
- The GOP netted at least seven Senate contests, more than the six needed to win control of the U.S. Senate;
- The party captured three of the four Senate contests taking place in presidential battleground states – Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina – and almost won another in prized Virginia;
- It ran up the score in the extremely competitive gubernatorial contests, winning in Florida, Kansas, Michigan and Wisconsin;
- And it even won a race it had absolutely no business winning: the gubernatorial contest in deep-blue Maryland.
What’s more, most of these GOP victories happened before midnight ET, when many believed that the battle for the Senate wouldn’t be decided until possible runoffs in December and January.
The GOP successes don’t stop there. The Republican Party is set up to pick up double-digit House seats, increasing their majority in that chamber to its largest margin since the 1940s, if not the 1920s. And it’s poised to make additional gains in state legislatures across the country.
In fact, maybe don’t call it wave; call it a political typhoon.
Strikingly, it came as many – including NBC News – didn’t see the 2014 midterms approaching as a wave, at least compared with the one from 2010, when Republicans picked up 63 House seats and six Senate seats.
Yes, it was shaping up to be a pro-Republican year, all the polling data found. But we dismissed it as a probable product of the Republican-leaning map. Or the typical “Six-Year Itch” a re-elected president suffers in his final midterm election. Or an electorate that was angry at all incumbents, Democrats and Republicans included.
But what took place on Election Night was something else – a wave that crashed directly down on Democrats and the Obama White House.