In my first update on the 2010 election, I observed that the election results were very broad and deep. As information on the lower races continues to come in, that analysis is not only confirmed, but in fact the depth of the conservative success continues to be astounding. The day after the election I learned that the GOP would pick up five to seven state legislatures, in addition to the other victories at the top of the ticket.
For a thorough recap of the down ticket success of the Republican Party, just listen to the following excerpts from an editorial in the November 4, 2010 issue of the Washington Examiner:
“Republicans took control of at least 19 additional state legislative bodies Tuesday for a total of 26 in which the party controls both chambers, compared with 21 for the Democrats and with three still up for grabs. Among these are legislatures in Alabama and North Carolina that had not seen elected Republican majorities since the Reconstruction elections of 1876 and 1870, respectively. Those that argued just two years ago the GOP was in danger of becoming a Southern regional party were proved resoundingly wrong as state legislative chambers in New Hampshire, Maine, Wisconsin and Minnesota flipped to GOP control. Republicans even made major inroads and could end up on top of legislative bodies in Oregon and Washington [state]. Republicans won 16 of 30 races for state attorney general, taking five such offices away from Democrats…
“The GOP also won 17 of 26 secretary of state races, a gain of six, giving the party a 25-22 edge…
“Republicans now will play a role in redrawing the boundaries of a whopping 314 congressional districts.”
All told, the Republicans now have control of both houses of the state legislature in 25 states. This encouraging news, coupled with the fact that the Republican Party also won 25 governorships on Tuesday, including 12 states where a Republican is replacing an incumbent Democrat, again shows the depth of the electoral sweep by the party of Lincoln and Reagan.
This means that the GOP bench for future presidential campaigns is deep and substantial. Not since 1928 has the Republican Party been so strong up and down the ticket. But 1928 signaled the end of the long reign of the GOP, while the 2010 election signals the potential beginning of long Republican dominance in American politics.
The question, however, is the one posed by United States Senator-elect, Marco Rubio, who said, “Tuesday’s election was not a mandate, it was a second chance.” Rubio has it exactly right. If the Republicans stick to their conservative principles of limited government, which translates into smaller government, less taxes, less government intrusion into the lives of its citizens, and a strong national defense, their success at the ballot box will continue. If, on the other hand, they become a faint shadow of the Democratic Party, they are doomed to failure. This is the second chance for the GOP. Will they muff it? Or will they be faithful to the ideals of those who founded this great nation? Only time will tell.