Coffee House

The Democrats won more than just the Presidency on Tuesday night

8 November 2012

6:15 PM

8 November 2012

6:15 PM

The focus, of course, is on President Barack Obama’s resounding re-election — but there are plenty of other reasons why Democrats are celebrating Tuesday night’s results.

In the summer, it looked like Obama’s party would struggle to maintain their Senate majority. Instead, they have extended it. Embattled incumbents held on in tight races in Missouri, Montana and Ohio. The Democrats also retained vulnerable seats in New Mexico, North Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin despite the incumbents having retired. And they took seats off the Republicans in Indiana and Massachusetts, to take their total up to 54 Senators — and it could rise to 55 if newly-elected independent Angus King decides to caucus with them.


The Democrats also beat expectations in House elections. They took a majority of votes nationwide, but were unable to overturn the GOP’s majority of seats — just as happened in 1996. They did reduce that majority though, with a net gain of at least six seats (and a further three neck-and-neck as the final votes are tallied). Impressively, the Democrats didn’t lose a single seat they were expected to win, took 18 of the 29 races the Cook Political Report had rated ‘tossups’ (two are still yet to be called), as well as holding on in districts that the Republicans seemed poised to gain, such as Massachusetts’ 6th and Utah’s 4th. Only four Democratic incumbents were defeated, compared to 14 Republican ones.

The Democrats’ gains included the two closely-fought New Hampshire districts, meaning that they now control all 21 New England seats in the House — and with their losses in Maine and Massachusetts, the Republicans are left with just two of the region’s 12 Senators. Obama’s party also took four seats off the GOP in his home state of Illinois.

At a state government level, too, the Democrats did better than expected. They won five of the seven competitive gubernatorial races, losing North Carolina but holding on well in Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, West Virginia and (it looks like) Washington. They turned a 186-seat Republican majority in the New Hampshire statehouse into a 40-seat Democratic majority, while also taking control of the Colorado and Oregon statehouses, the New York state senate, and both chambers in Maine and Minnesota. The Republicans did seize four chambers themselves, though: the Alaska and Wisconsin state senates and both chambers in Arkansas.

All in all, a strong night for the Democrats, albeit not as strong as the 2006 and 2008 elections — and not enough to recover from the hammering they took in the 2010 midterms.

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Show comments
  • Mike

    Britain and the USA have many similarities, the one which causes the most problems is an education system which is unable to produce enough people for high value advanced engineering.The training of craftsmen, technicians , scientists and engineers enables Germany to create large numbers of high value manufacturing companies. The pursuit of excellence in maths and the physical sciences in the schools of India, Singapore, Hong Kong and South East China mean these countries will continue to produce companies which will be able to move from low to high value manufacturing.

    The USA and the UK have education establishments dominated by middle class public sector arts graduates who have failed since the mid 60s to produce the education and training systems comparable to Germany. The reality is that many on welfare in the Uk and the USA lack the ability to be employed in low value manufacturing,let along high value ( satellites for example) manufacturing or the service sector . BRIC countries and soon countries such as Mexico, Indonesia, Malaysia and Nigeria will have populations with far better aptitudes and attitudes for manufacturing but with lower wage costs than many on welfare in the Uk and USA.

    The vast increase in low quality humanities education since the 1960s means resources have not been invested in high quality vocational training . Someone with a poor quality humanities education is is no use in designing and building cars such as BMW,Audi, Mercedes etc, etc.

    High value engineering requires vast knowledge of facts, maths,physics and chemistry :precision and patience and a willingness to be corrected : attributes which are too often lacking in those leaving American and British education establishments. Look at the number of foreign students undertaking post graduate degrees at the top science and engineering universities in the USA and UK, while the hedonistic native born indulge in poor quality humanities education.
    The pursuit of hedonsim since the mid 60s in the UK and USA compared to work ethic of Germany, Japan, Finland and now China begins to look like the last 100 years of the Roman Empire, from about AD 300. While allowing vast increases in the cost of welfare, vast property bubbles to be created( which have burst) and allowing financial castles in the air to be built: both the USA and UK have failed to produce enough goods and services the rest of the World want to buy.

    • arnoldo87

      The problem, Mike, is that those who occupy the corridors of power in the UK haven’t had a clue about the basics of Engineering. This has been true for many years, witness the scandalous collapse of major British machine tool manufacturing capacity. How often over the past 40 years have British workers been replaced by robots designed and supplied by other countries.
      There is hope, however, that this is about to change, as we hear politicians from both sides of the House calling for education to be geared to the take up of highly skilled engineering posts. What is needed is a major pressure group made up of people such as Heseltine, Dyson, Digby-Jones etc to insist that we act before it’s too late.

  • Hexhameezer

    A resounding victory with 10 million votes less than last time apparently and about a 50% – 48% margin.
    Jonathan, cut the verbiage – this is why you and yours won – why your racist friend of domestic terrorists won.

    • eeore

      You really need to check the new definition of domestic terrorism.

  • The Aged P

    Hmmmm….I wonder why Jonathan Jones didn’t mention this

  • eeore

    I’ll hold judgement on who won until they start counting the votes.

  • The Aged P

    Those 2012 election numbers – aopolgy owed to Sarah Palin?

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Yes, the willardbots are furious at the thought, but the Saracuda outperformed them.

      Oh alright then, there was another shriveled up old prune on the ballot with her.

  • 2trueblue

    Scary to think that people are so easily won over with words of no substance. What has been promised is unsustainable.

  • Anna

    May I just say that I thoroughly recognise that the world is changing. I am also thoroughly grateful that I’m old enough at 66 to probably not see the ultimate result. It won’t be pretty. Most empires have failed when they descended into hedonism, the West will be no different. If I recognise that change is a fact, it doesn’t mean I have to think it is right. I don’t, and I won’t vote for it. Fortunately for all the progressives, my kind will die out pretty soon. I hope you enjoy the world you create. I try not to think about my four month old grandson living in it.

  • Data hungry

    You say the Dems “won a majority of votes” in the House races. What was your source?
    I’m not being snide; I can’t find that data anywhere and would really like to know where you found it.

    • eeore

      It’s scientific.

    • Jonathan Jones

      It has been widely reported: by Aaron Blake of the Washington Post ( for example. Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report – probably the top independent expert on House elections – agrees ( And ThinkProgress totted up the votes counted so far and found Dems with half a million more than the GOP:

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Actually, the national congressional vote appears to have wound up a statistical tie.

        Not that the national congressional vote is anything other than a second order indicator, as total seats won in Congress are the only first order indicator, and the Left made little to no progress gaining seats in this election. The few seats they did manage to claw back are going to be populated by freshmen, and will come under a withering assault in the 2014 offyear election.

        Thus, the Tea Party shellacking of 2010 has been consolidated in the following election of 2012. That is a first order indicator, as well. Much like will happen to them in 2014, the Left had to parry that 2010 Tea Party historical wave, and liquidate at least 2-3 dozen of those freshman congresscritters. They failed to do so.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          And to give further insight into US politics, the national congressional vote is skewed by the Left’s insistence on creating “majority-minority” congressional districts. The effect of that decision is to create districts that will split 70-30 for the Left, with extremely low turnout among any opposition to the lefty candidate. Usually, these situations take place in urban districts, and the opposition undervote can be measured in some of them at +100,000 votes per district, in dozens of districts around the country. So, I’d estimate the national undervote in the millions.

          All due to a artificial construct that the Left has created and sustained in the electoral process. And it sure isn’t helping those urban districts, in any measurable way.

          So in reality, the “statistical tie” that I spoke of earlier is itself an artificial construct. In real terms, in the districts that were competitive, the Left got swamped in the national congressional vote, and thus the huge Tea Party created majority in Congress sustains.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    And just one more log for the fire. The Speccie teenager wouldn’t likely recognize it, but the silhouette in the photograph accompanying this post is of one Senator Kent Conrad, a lefty senator from North Dakota. He’ll soon be an ex-senator, as he was forced to resign this year due to the banking crash, amidst his shady relationships with certain banksters. That same scandal has forced out a good many congressional lefties: Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and many other old line lefties.

    What you’re seeing then is a significant turnover in Congress that isn’t necessarily reflective of Tea Party and conservative numbers gains in Congress, but rather a cleansing of the incumbent lefties and a refreshing blast of new lefties. That’s progress, and all of it Tea Party influenced, even if they didn’t take the seat itself.

    In the run up to the 2014 offyear election, I’m expecting a bunch more lefties to decide to retire so they can “spend more time with their families”, as the scandal plagued always seem to give as their reason for leaving.

    2014 is when the last wave of US Senate class of 2008 comes up, and they’ll all be vulnerable for the crash and all their votes during the Obama era: Bailouts, Porkulus, Cap & Tax, ObamaCare… and all the spending and debt… as well as whatever state the economy is in. It will be quite festive, I’m sure.

    • HooksLaw

      In fact a Democrat has won Conrad’s seat even though Romney easily won the state.
      This despite being backed by people opposed to ‘fracking’ which ought to be economically beneficial to North Dakota.

      This was a seat the Republicans had to win but they could not, and they cannot blame Romney.
      The Democrat candidate was of course horribly white.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Um, the winner of the North Dakota senate seat may have been a Democrat, but she is certainly not a leftist. She is quite likely more conservative than Willard the Mittens, as a matter of fact.

        But then, you’d have to know US politics to know that.

        And I’m amused that you think Heidi Heitkamp is anti fracking. Her energy positions were indistinguishable from Berg’s. Perhaps you can provide a link to back up your assertions.

        Basically, Heidi Heitkamp is a Tea Party candidate without the Tea Party, fyi.

        • HooksLaw

          A Democrat who speaks to a wider constituency, just as you want to close the outlook of Republicans down.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            So basically, you got caught fantasizing about Heidi Heitkamp, and don’t have a link to back up your blather.

            Got it.

            Perhaps, like the original blogger, you shouldn’t comment on US politics, since you know so little about it.

            • HooksLaw

              You are the one fantasising as a Democrat, a blazing white one, wins and a Republican loses. In a state where you were crowing about a shite Democrate record.

              FWIW I am gutted that the Republican did not win.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                No, troll, unlike you, there is no crowing or fantasizing, it’s all about reality, as in Kent Conrad was forced out of office by the Tea Party, due to his corruption. Read my post, rather than relying on your fantastical lies about my post.

                Now then, you’ve yet to provide a link to support your fantastical lies about Heitkamp, I see.

                Thought so.

                And thank God for the Tea Party, for having forced out that crook Conrad and facilitating the turnover of that Senate seat, similar to so many other lefty seats they’ve forced into turnover these past few years.

                Oh and again, troll, I’d take Heitkamp over Romney ANY day of the week. She’s more conservative, and that’s the conservative choice.

                But then, you wouldn’t know all that, as you don’t know anything about US politics, other than your fantastical lies.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Oh, I wouldn’t be crowing too loud, my lefty friend.

    The Left was shellacked in 2010, at the local, state and federal levels. Those shellackings were consolidated in 2012. The House holds, as does all of the state legislatures and governors won. That’s the thing about wave elections. The wave has to hold, otherwise it can get hurled back into the sea, as the lefty 2006 and 2008 waves were thrown back in 2010. Once consolidated, those new majorities are nearly impossible to dislodge absent another wave, and 2012 wasn’t that. That Tea Party wave holds, fyi.

    The 2012 election was status quo, then, and likely better for conservatives that the anti-conservative Romney lost the presidential election. And stylistically and philosophically, the most important election in 2012 was Governor Scott Walker’s winning that Wisconsin recall election in June. You’d know that if you understood US politics, or at least could view it through something other than a lefty lens.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      And of course, the 2014 offyear election is going to give you lefties even less to crow about, as we know historically.

  • Heartless etc.,

    “resounding!!” – you foolish boy! A cry of desperation receding into the distance that only the past will grant.

    Now go and clean your room!

    • dalai guevara

      332:206 – in basketball, that’s not just resounding, it’s a dream team result. Now go and wash your mouth out.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        No, it’s basically a pedestrian result, if you understand US politics.

        Now go and clean your room.

        • dalai guevara

          That’s what I said, it was a walk-over.
          Soap, when you wash out your mouth!

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Correct, you said it was a walk over, when in fact the result of this presidential election was quite pedestrian, as those of us who understand US politics know historically.

            Now go and clean your room.

            • dalai guevara


              • the viceroy’s gin

                Yes, I can imagine your room would require a bleach cleaning.

                • dalai guevara

                  Thanks for the reminder, I have got a Karcher. It works well in between out-of-reach areas of wisdom.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You mean like up in your skull?

                • dalai guevara

                  Are you gobsmacked I am still on topic?

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  I’m gobsmacked that somebody was able to teach you how to breathe.

                • dalai guevara

                  My heart rate to breathing ratio is 332:206, dude.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  So it’s quite pedestrian then?

  • Wilhelm

    Bill O’Reilly on Fox ” the white establishment is now a minority.”

    Typical Obama supporter, every other word is Mother F**ker.

  • Wilhelm

    ”96% of Blacks and 72% of Hispanics voted for Obama, so they’re voting in bloc for their own ethnic candidate. 59% of whites voted for Romney, the highest ever, if 1 or 2 % of more whites voted for Romney he would have won, but the Republican party will try and pander to blacks and hispanics to get their vote. It wont work. ”

    Jared Taylor on the dwindling influence of whites and the Republican party.

    • HooksLaw

      You sick pervert.
      ‘Samuel Jared Taylor (born 1951) of Oakton, Virginia, is an American journalist and an advocate of racial realism, an ideology that believes that race is a biological reality and advocates the separateness of racial groups as the key of a
      well-functioning society.’
      (c/o Wikipedia)

      If the association of thought with this bozo is not a warning to all you nut jobs out there then nothing will be.

      • Baron

        HooksLaw, calm down, tell us what explains the voting preference of the two non-white groups then. Say it slowly, try to be rational without labeling, also avoid anger, remember: he who angers you conquers you.

        • dalai guevara

          Who cares what the voting pref of a racial group is? Only the ‘make up artist’ will care.

          You might as well ask what the women vote did, or what the military vote did, or what the shopkeeper vote did. But you don’t. You ask a question with dubious intentions (not ‘you’ of course).

          Are you a sales rep for Avon or Bobby Brown? Don’t answer that one, it’s a rhetorical certainty.

          • Baron

            dalai, sir, everyone who cares about freedom, democracy and stuff should be interested in finding the answer to that question, should at least ponder why the most glaringly obvious achievement of the messiah’s four year rule is a polarisation of the country that frightens rather than reassures.

            Baron welcomed Obama when he first appeared on the scene, has lost confidence in him soon after, not because he isn’t white, but because he’s no good, his poor record proves it.

            Also, you watched the second video? You proud the crowd is in the same boat as you? An avant-garde of the revolution to come, a solid underpinning of the society of tomorrow?

            • dalai guevara

              Baron, I fully understand your frustration with respect to certain outcomes regarding promises made. The Guantanamo closure was such a promise, and it deeply disturbed me that we still appear to be in a shady waterboarding age.

              OTOH, to quote a dear friend Jerry Springer here: what will get Obama onto Mount Rushmore is the fact that he has finally taken the single biggest leap in healthcare that America has ever seen. For some, this has not sunk in yet, for some, poor, decrepit and dark people don’t deserve to live, some people rather spend on tanks and blow up things than pay for their neighbour’s cancer treatment. Fine. But I do not agree with that, and a 14% tax-paying competitor who promises to revert everything that was done in that sector only deserves our thorough and all-embracing disregard.

              After 8 years of red neck policy of the lowest kind by a guy who cannot even speak properly, never mind look you straight in the eye, you just cannot imagine what a relief it is for most that at least there is a chap who can play ball.

              • Baron

                dalai, a last stab then it’s to bed for Baron who lived in the future the messiah promises to build, a society in which ‘From each
                according to his ability, to each according to his needs’ ruled. You’re not getting a Full Monty of it yet, but you’re right, the first step in that direction has been taken in healthcare, a segment of societal life that resonates with people, after all, who wants to die, ha.

                Sadly, my blogging friend, it doesn’t work. It wasn’t doable for the millions of Slavs, the Germans, others who at the beginning of it welcomed it just like you do. It won’t be doable for you either. It will take time, you still are a wealthy country, but in the end, if you keep pushing in that direction, it will bury you as it did the Red Menace of the East. To get your man onto Rushmore will be probably the last job you’ll do before it all collapses.

                • dalai guevara

                  Yes, the poser with the flash car and the empty bank account will probably think that Trident is a deterrent.

        • HooksLaw

          You work it out and when you get an answer pass it on to the Republican Party so they can put credible non bigoted solidly based Republican policies to all the electorate.

          And don’t tell me to calm down when in fact I am rationally pointing out the racist apartheid bigotry idolised by of one of the regular nut jobs.

          BTW – I would have thought that the above mentioned apartheid policies presented by a right wing commentator would be just one of many similar reasons why black and hispanic voters are turned off the Republicans.
          And if you are mixed race?This is what he thinks of you…
          ‘I want my grandchildren to look like my grandparents. I don’t want them to look like Anwar Sadat or Fu Manchu or Whoopi Goldberg’

          That you do not see the answer staring you in the face speaks volumes.

          • Baron

            HooksLaw, are the words you quote those of Romney? Where and when did he say it?

            Baron can understand the 55% of women voting for the messiah, even the 72% of Hispanics, however incredulous, he can just about swallow, but for you to imply that the 93% of black voters backed the messiah for a reason other than racial affinity? Come on, get real.

            If you truly believe the Republic can successfully weather the Herculean challenges your society’s facing, the fiscal cliff, the heap of debt and stuff when a major segment of the great unwashed gives preference to a man’s colour of his skin rather than his ability, you, sir, are a fool.

            • HooksLaw

              Dope – the word are those of Taylor and are salivated over by the leading nut job on these pages. When right wing commentators spout those words how do you expect blacks to vote?

      • Wilhelm

        ” you sick pervert ” and ” bozo ” and ” nut job.”

        As always, Hookslaw is insightful as ever.

        • HooksLaw

          I have got you numbered.

      • Daniel Maris

        Well before you get too carried away, remember that your idol “One Nation” Disraeli who penned the following:

        “Is it what you call civilization that makes England flourish? Is it the
        universal development of the faculties of man that has rendered an island, almost unknown to the ancients, the arbiter of the world? Clearly not. It is the inhabitants that have done this. It is an affair of race.… All is race, there is no other truth. ”

        “All is race; there is no other truth ,and every race must fall which
        carelessly suffers its blood to become mixed.”

        “No man will treat with indifference the principle of race. It is the
        key to history, and why history is often so confused is that it has been written by men who are ignorant of this principle and all the knowledge it involves. . .Language and religion do not make a race–there is only one thing which makes a race, and that is blood.”

        I don’t see why if Disraeli can come out with that stuff, Wilhelm can’t. It’s called free speech.

        • Sweetpea

          Of course Wilhelm is entitled to his views; and just as you are able to compare his views to those of a Victorian who is as dead as the values he articulated in your quote, so Hookslaw entitled to free speech too. It is my opinion that on this occasion Wilhelm is wrong and Hookslaw is right; and it is a shame you sided with the racist.

        • arnoldo87

          Yes Daniel, but one wonders whether that particular Jew would have said the same thing now if he had been aware of the deeds of the Nazis, who believed exactly the same thing.
          Wlihelm can of course continue to say something similar, as he is entitled to. But, unlike Disraeli, he does so in the full knowledge of what happened in WWII, and therefore continues to insult those who gave their lives fighting such evil.

        • dalai guevara

          Excellent stuff – it is time to remind the electorate that the guy in continued charge of the states is not black. His mother is white. Anyone who calls Obozo black is inadvertantly subscibing to Nazi racial theory.

    • EJ

      Spot on Wilhelm. Ignore the bullying. The same is happening here in the UK and someone has to have the courage to tell it like it is.

  • Wilhelm

    The look on Obama’s face was the same as OJ Simpson when he heard the not guilty verdict at the end of his trial, one of relief and he knew he got away with it.