The 2014 election is about Washington writ large: Obamacare, amnesty, runaway spending, and an ineffectual Congress. As each race is decided, we’ll talk about what caused the result and what we can learn.
Join us, starting in the early evening, as we see how these candidates, and their messages, perform down the stretch.
We’re wrapping up the live blog for the night. Between too-close-to-call, a recount, and a runoff, things are winding down.
Clearly Obamacare remains an important issue to voters — and the campaigns reflected that. Not only did every single newly elected Republican Senator run on “repeal”, the ad war had a distinct anti-Obamacare flare. The Republican majority — House in 2010 and Senate in 2014 — is built on repeal.
Incredibly, not one single newly elected Republican Senator ran in favor of comprehensive immigration reform and amnesty. In fact, every candidate that made amnesty an issue, including 6 of the Republican pickups, ran a strong anti-amnesty campaign. The U.S. Chamber spent millions supporting anti-amnesty candidates while the NRSC and Crossroads-affiliated groups ran anti-amnesty ads to help push Republicans across the finish line.
Conservatives carried the night. Now they must govern as they campaigned.
11:40 PMObamacare is deciding elections:
11:33 PMWhat we’re seeing:
Incredibly, not one single newly elected Republican Senator ran in favor of comprehensive immigration reform and amnesty. In fact, every candidate that made amnesty an issue, including 6 of the Republican pickups (so far), ran a strong anti-amnesty campaign. The U.S. Chamber spent millions supporting anti-amnesty candidates while the NRSC and Crossroads-affiliated groups ran anti-amnesty ads to help push Republicans across the finish line.
11:32 PMWhat we’re seeing:
Outside of Washington, Obamacare remains an important issue to voters — and the campaigns reflected that. Not only did every single newly elected Republican Senator run on “repeal”, the ad war had a distinct anti-Obamacare flare. The Republican majority — House in 2010 and Senate in 2014 — is built on repeal.
GOP picks up 7th seat: Thom Tillis has won North Carolina’s closely watched Senate race.
Tillis hammered the Obamacare issue: “When [Hagan] cast the deciding vote for Obamacare, voted to kill the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs.” Hagan tried to defend Obamacare.
11:25 PMGOP PICKUP MAKES 51
Joni Ernst defeats Rep. Bruce Braley in hotly contested Iowa Senate race.
Obamacare was a major issue in Iowa. In contrast to Braley who voted for and tried to defend Obamacare, Ernst advocated “immediate action to repeal Obamacare.” She even used the Weekly Republican Address as an opportunity to hammer Obamacare and ran an ad that promised to “take aim” and “unload” on the law.
10:49 PMSen. Pat Roberts survives a strong challenge in Kansas.
Despite continued efforts to downplay the importance of Obamacare to the electorate, it was a major issue in Kansas. Roberts continued to tout his opposition to Obamacare and his willingness to take action, noting he joined the Cruz-led “effort to defund the law.”
10:42 PMPerdue Wins in Georgia
David Perdue defeated Michelle Nunn in Georgia, keeping the seat for Republicans.
Perdue hammered Nunn for “support[ing] amnesty” and pushing “open border policies.” He did so time and time again while promising to, “once and for all, forget amnesty.”
So-called ‘conservative Democrat’ Rep. John Barrow (D-GA)Heritage ActionScorecardRep. John BarrowHouse Democrat Average28%
29% isn’t conservative.
09:56 PMRep. Cory Gardner has defeated Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado.
Despite continued efforts to downplay the importance of Obamacare to the electorate, it was a major issue in Colorado. In announcing his surprise bid, Gardner declared “We will stop the government takeover of health care.” He called Udall, who pressured insurance companies to hide 20,000+ cancellation notices, the “deciding vote” and promised to repeal Obamacare.
09:39 PMLouisiana Heads to Runoff
The Louisiana Senate race between Bill Cassidy (R) and Mary Landrieu (D) will head to December 6th runoff.
If the runoff focuses on amnesty, Obamacare and an authentic conservative, reform-oriented agenda, conservatives should do well.
09:28 PMShaheen Survives in New Hampshire
Despite a strong challenge, Sen. Shaheen survives in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire nearly turned into the upset of the 2014 cycle. Brown found success by running on conservative issues like Obamacare and no candidate ran harder on stopping Obama’s planned executive amnesty. Although independent and undecided voters broke his way, Shaheen managed to hang on.
09:08 PMSasse Wins in Nebraska
Although the outcome was never in doubt, tonight’s victory by Ben Sasse in Nebraska is encouraging. He’ll be a force in Washington, pushing for real solutions to the problems plaguing hardworking Americans.
First call from the 9pm states:
Peters Wins in Michigan
Rep. Gary Peters easy win in Michigan is an example of a missed opportunity.
Even worse than running a stale, anti-Obama campaign is running big-government solution. Land flipped on several issues and abandoned her anti-Obamacare push down the stretch.
Another thought on the Arkansas Senate race:
Another seven states close their polls at 9pm. We’ll keep you posted.
08:36 PMWhat was Cotton’s victory about? Obamacare.
Despite continued efforts to downplay the importance of Obamacare to the electorate, Cotton said it was the “single biggest issue” in the campaign. While touting repeal Cotton also reminded voters that Pryor was the “deciding vote” for Obamacare.
08:31 PMRep. Tom Cotton has defeated Sen. Mark Pryor in Arkansas.
Pryor’s support for amnesty was a major issue in Arkansas. Cotton said he “received more questions about immigration [while campaigning] than any other issue.” He continually hammered Pryor as “out-of-touch with Arkansas” because he “voted for amnesty, citizenship for illegals.”
08:02 PMSessions Wins in Alabama
Although the outcome was never in doubt, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Jeff SessionsSenate Republican Average85%
will return to the Senate. During his first three terms, he has been one of the strongest opponents of amnesty. Expect that fight to continue as Obama looks bypass Congress yet again!
Closing a 8pm EST: Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee, Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Dakota. Several of those won’t have results for quite some time.
Polls close in North Carolina and West Virginia in about ten minutes, at 7:30pm.
The growing Republican majority in the House isn’t easy to characterize, but most ran strongly against amnesty
and strongly against Obamacare
. It will be a more conservative House.
It appears that the race for US Senate in Virginia is too close to call.
South Carolina Senator Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC)Heritage ActionScorecardSen. Tim ScottSenate Republican Average86%
wins election to a full term.
07:02 PMMcConnell Wins in Kentucky
Sen. Mitch McConnell survived a strong challenge in Kentucky, now poised to become Senate Majority Leader.
In ten minutes, polls close in Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia.
What do you think about the election results? Join the discussion in the comments section below.