Sunday, November 9, 2014

Schaper's Reflections: House Races 2014

Bullish Republican politicos predicted a double-digit gain for House Republicans in 2014.

They were not disappointed.

From Utah and North Carolina, where certain victory awaited, to blue California, where two House seats flipped GOP, and a conservative defeated an Establishment politician, voters said "Enough" to President Obama's unfettered, yet unwelcome secularist progressivism.

Predicted Upsets

Mia Love

In Utah, Mia Love pulled off a close upset in conservative Democrat Jim Matheson's seat. He barely survived with President Obama at the top of the ticket in 2012. Taking no chances, he moved out and let Mia Love move in.
David Rouzer
David Rouzer

In conservative Dem Mike McIntyre's seat, Republican David Rouzer won the seat in a rout.

Those seats were easy pickings, since legislative redistricting had turned those seats into Republican strongholds

California Wins

Steve Knight

The Congressional seat of noted attention in California, CD-25, was unique because two Republicans entered the general election run-off (another Miller Effect), but the more conservative candidate (Steve T. Knight) was facing an uphill battle against a well-funded, well-endorsed politician, who took union money and was taking racist pot-shots at his challenger. Despite LA Times' attempt to create a conflict which did not exist between Knight and one of his key supporters, former gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly, Knight triumphed.

Other Unseated Democrats

President Obama has so ruined his brand, conservative Democrats are few and far between. There is not one white Southern Congressman remaining in the delegation, while Republicans picked up two seats in New England.

John Barrow Lost to Rick Allen
Congressman John Barrow (D-GA) lost his seat this time. He was facing increased pressure from the right, and the redistricting in his state pushed him into more difficult terrain. Of course, President Obama's liberal progressivism is so unpopular and unpalatable in Georgia, even statewide name Michelle Nunn was crushed, no run-off needed.


Two Democratic House reps were also unseated in Illinois, along with the incumbent Governor Pat Quinn. These wins cannot be ignored. Democrats should be worried when President Obama's home state starts tilting red. With a new Republican governor heading the state, Republicans may tilt the Land of Lincoln back to the GOP column in 2016.

William Enyart -- Gone replace by Mike Bost (Right)

Brad Schneider lost his seat to Bob Dold,  who won it back
New York

Without intending to, I had a chance to help conservative activists in New York state get rid of a long-time liberal incumbent, Tom Bishop, who was representing NY-1, along the greater part of Long Island. Another House seat flipped, increase the New York GOP House delegation to eight. Pretty good for a state where liberal Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo claimed that conservatives no longer belong there.

Democrat Tim Bishop Lost to Lee Zeldin

Another New York liberal lost, upstate in Syracuse (NY-24):

Dan Maffei lost to John Katko

New England

The mainstream media and liberal pundits (redundancy?) claimed that the North East was lost to Republicans after 2008, when Connecticut GOP Christopher Shays lost his house seat. Come 2010,  two Republicans scored in New Hampshire, then lost them in 2012.

In 2014, one Republican took back a house seat in New Hampshire, and another Republican won a seat in Maine.

Carol Shea-Porter lost to Fank Guinta (NH-2)
Guinta's win is particularly remarkable because he was the more conservative Republican in the primary, defeating an openly gay Republican opposed to key elements of the party platform (much like Carl DeMaio who lost to Democrat Scott Peters in Southern California)

The Maine seat was less of a surprise, since conservatives had predicted a potential upset here for months. Still, a Republican has not represented Maine in the US House since 1996. Here's to hope and change that the GOP should celebrate and hold onto. Could Maine be in play for Republican Presidential hopefuls in 2016, too?

West Virginia

Another stunning upset took place in West Virginia, where a long-standing conservative Democratic, Nick Rahall, could not outrun the anti-Obama juggernaut this year. Nick Rahall has joined the long-standing retirement of the West Virginia Democratic Party. Republicans hold major numbers in the state legislature, and now a US Senate seat, too.

19 term Nick Rahall lost to Evan Jenkins

While some voting tallies remain uncounted, the 2015-2017 House GOP will boast an expanded conference of 247 seats, which the GOP has not held since post-World War Two rejection of liberal Democrat Harry Truman.

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