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  The 2010 United States elections
were held on Tuesday, November
2nd. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives, 37 Senatorial slots, 38 state and
territorial governorships, among other smaller races were contested. Approximately
82.5 million people voted. Polls from all across the country showed that the economy,
job loss, and the deficit were the #1 issues for voters this year. It is no secret that our
economy has been struggling heavily for about 2 years now, and although the economy
has started to grow again, the slow pace and lack of job availability has frustrated
citizens all over the country. Another big factor in people¶s decisions was their
evaluation of President Obama¶s first term in Office. Presidents typically lose seats in
Congress in midterms, and this year was no exception. As of right now, there are 59
Democrats in the Senate, and 41 Republicans, while Democrats lead in the House with a
255-178 majority. However, when new Congressmen take Office on Inauguration Day,
Democrats will only lead Republicans in the Senate by a 53-47 majority, while
Republicans will take power over the House by about 293-142 (the final number has not
been declared yet). In addition, Republicans won many gubernatorial elections as well.
This year's election has the potential for the biggest shift since the 1994 Republican
Revolution, when Republicans gained 8 Senate seats and a net gain of 54
Representatives in the House, just 2 years after President Clinton won his first
presidential election, in 1992. Notably, Independent Lincoln Chafee won the
gubernatorial election in Rhode Island. Democrat Jerry Brown beat Republican Meg
Whitman for governor of California, the coveted position currently held by Arnold
Schwarzenegger, along with Andrew Cuomo in New York, who bested Tea Party-backed
candidate Carl Paladino in a landside. In New Jersey, 7 Democrats won, compared to
the 6 Republicans. In addition, Delaware Senate candidate, the Tea Partier Christine
O'Donnell lost by a wide margin to Chris Coons, her Democratic opponent. O'Donnell
gathered much national attention by stating that she is "not a witch." Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid was re-elected for Senator in Nevada, after his hotly contested
campaign against Tea-Party backed Sharron Angle. 
Many feel that Obama has not been a successful President, for example, even he admits
that two years into his presidency, ³the economy is  not where we would like it to
be´. Others point out that economy has grown recently and millions of new jobs have
been created since Obama took Office in 2009. However, Obama¶s approval ratings
have been slipping. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) blamed the dismal poll numbers
on the unrealistic expectations of him following the 2008 election. ³Expectations were
so high that if there had not been a
complete economic meltdown, it
would have been hard,´ she said. ³But
you add to that mix this incredible
implosion of the economy « and the
minority party did a very good job of
messaging µbig government.¶ ´ Many
have blamed Democrats¶ losses in the
midterms on their failure to agree on
different decisions, such as the Bush
tax cuts, while Republicans are very
unified in their beliefs (and,
unfortunately for President Obama,
in their refusal to vote in favor of his
policies, as evidenced by the
consistent count of 0 Republican
votes on his proposed bills).

Many are going as far as to say that November 2nd¶s elections are µproof¶ that Obama is
going down in 2012. However, interestingly, the last two presidents to have this
problem were Truman and Clinton- both of which were re-elected two years later.

One thing that the Congressional elections mean for the country is that there will be a
new Speaker of the House of Representatives: Rep. John Boehner, as Speaker Nancy
Pelosi will step down. (However, Pelosi will be running for House Minority Leader.)
President Obama called Boehner after the results of the elections were revealed. In his
discussions with Boehner and Obama said he was looking forward to working with him
and Republicans "to find common ground, move the country forward and get things
done for the American people." As President Obama put it, "Our future depends on
putting politics aside to solve problems, to worry about the next generation instead of
the next election. We can't spend the next two years mired in gridlock. Other countries
like China aren't standing still, so we can't stand still either. We have to move forward."
Obama told radio show host Steve Harvey in an interview, "[the Republicans¶] whole
agenda is to spend the next two years trying to defeat me, as opposed to trying to move
the country forward.´ For example, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell from
Kentucky has promised a non-stop effort to repeal Obama¶s health care bill, in a strategy
to force Democrats to record votes in
favor of the measure that can be cited
in the 2012 election campaign.

Either way, in January, the elected

public officials will take Office, and
their successes and failures will be
reflected in next year¶s elections, and
the presidential election in 2012.



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