Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 3:41 am
With President Obama's defeat of Mitt Romney, the Republican Party finds itself in the same place it was four years ago — once again coming up short in its attempt to win the most powerful office in American democracy.
It faces the inevitable soul-searching the losing party undergoes, to greater or lesser degrees, after every contest for the one office whose occupant represents the entire nation.
And how the GOP reacts could help determine its fortunes in 2016.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 1:10 pm
Imagine a ballot Tuesday that confronted you not with a choice between candidates named OBAMA and ROMNEY, but that looked more like this:
How much do you support the REPUBLICAN?
Pick only one.
More than that ____
For much of Election Day, that was what viewers encountered in watching Fox News' coverage. President Obama was, in the words of Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy at the outset of the day, a guy who "promised hope and change — a lot of stuff — and he didn't deliver."
In a highly polarized electorate, there's not a lot of room for third-party candidates to make a strong showing. Still, minor parties did see some bright spots on Tuesday.
Maine elected an independent to the Senate, former Gov. Angus King, while Vermont re-elected its independent senator, Bernard Sanders.
Both those victories may have been "idiosyncratic," says Cary Covington, a University of Iowa political scientist, having more to do with the personal popularity of the candidates than pointing to any wider desire for independent candidates.
Voters in North Carolina put a Republican in their governor's office for the first time in two decades, and New Hampshire elected a new female Democratic governor.
But the closely watched tossup races in Montana and Washington, where Democrats currently serve as governors, remained too close to call late Tuesday.
Eight of the gubernatorial seats up for grabs are now held by Democrats; three are in Republican hands. Republicans currently hold 29 governorships, Democrats have 20, and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is an independent.