Going into Tuesday’s election everyone was talking about a “Red Wave” of Republican victories in the U.S. House and Senate. And the GOP picking up 20 seats in the House and four in the Senate didn’t seem unreasonable based on the polling and historical trend data.
But it didn’t turn out that way, even though it appears Republicans have gained the majority in the House by a few seats and could, based on the outcome of the Georgia run-off, to win a one seat majority in the Senate.
But there was a strange phenomenon at work in the election – while there was no Red Wave that threw Democrats out of power in Democrat-run states, like New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan, there was a massive Red Wave in Republican-run states, like Florida, Texas and Oklahoma.
And in down-ballot contests in states where the high-profile Republicans are still waiting for the results of close elections, such as Arizona, conservatives were swept into office.
In Arizona, conservative All Star state Representative Jake Hoffman moved from the state House of Representatives to the state Senate, defeating his Democrat opponent almost 2 to 1 (41,145 to 23,653).
In Michigan, where the Republican statewide ticket inexplicably lost to what was arguably one of the worst Democrat administrations in the country, conservative Republican John James won a hotly contested race for Congress, adding another African American Republican to the GOP House Conference.
Republican-affiliated justices retained their 4-3 majority on the Ohio Supreme Court by sweeping all three open seats over their Democratic challengers. In North Carolina, Republicans were victorious, claiming the two open seats on the state Supreme Court and flipping its makeup to a 5-2 Republican majority — clinching power for the first time in six years.
In New Jersey, a state noted for Democrat political corruption and vote fraud, voters in NJ-07 appeared frustrated by Democrats' inability to own up to the toll that high prices were taking. Democrats were already weighed down because New Jersey was slow to reopen schools and lift other COVID restrictions, leading Phil Murphy, the Democratic governor, to nearly lose in his reelection campaign last year. The result was a Republican victory in an east coast seat Democrats thought was safe, as Republican Tom Kean defeated incumbent Democrat Rep. Tom Malinowski.
In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott vaporized Democrat Beto O’Rourke and Republicans expanded their majority in both houses of the State Legislature, even as one of their high profile Republican congressional candidates, Special Election winner Congresswoman Mayra Flores was narrowly defeated.
In Georgia, while the Senate contest between Far Left Democrat Raphael Warnock and conservative Republican Herschel Walker is headed for a runoff, down ballot Republicans expanded their numbers, and fended-off well-funded Democrat challenges.
Georgia’s fiery conservative Marjorie Taylor Greene had an unprecedented $10 million-plus spent against her and won handily.
In Oklahoma, where Democrats claimed they had principled limited government constitutional conservative Governor Kevin Stitt on the ropes, the incumbent conservative won with over 60% of the vote. Stitt was joined by conservative Republican State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters, who campaigned against “wokeism” booked over 56% of the vote in a hotly contested race.
However, the biggest “Red Wave” was in Florida, where Republicans and conservatives won closely contested races from Governor down the ballot to school board, and all but wiped out the Democrat bench.
Florida Republicans gained four seats in the state Senate on Tuesday, ousting two incumbents, knocking out incumbent Democrats Janet Cruz of Tampa and Loranne Ausley of Tallahassee.
Following Tuesday’s races, Republicans’ 28-12 lead in the Senate now comprises a more than two-thirds supermajority, a status that gives the caucus a near-lockdown on power in the upper chamber. Republicans also now have a supermajority in the Florida House of Representatives.
Republicans flipped an open Miami-Dade County seat that had been held by Annette Taddeo, who left the Senate to run for Congress this year. In the race for Senate District 38, Republican Alexis Maria Calatayud edged out Democrat Janelle Perez by eight percentage points, nailing down more than 54% of the vote, according to WCTV.tv.
In another high-profile Florida race, incumbent Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, defeated state Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil, with a 55-45 split for Senate District 10 in Central Florida. Brodeur’s victory statement encapsulated the GOP’s enthusiasm as Tuesday’s returns rolled in:
“Floridians sent a clear message tonight about who we are as a state and the values we hold dear by rejecting the radical ideologies being pushed by the fringe: Abortion without limits, indoctrination in our classrooms, lockdowns, mandates and defunding the police,” said Brodeur, according to reporting by WCTV.tv.
However, while the GOP super-majorities in the Florida legislature made the headlines, the real “Red Wave” may have been even further down the ballot in the supposedly non-partisan school board races.
Out of the six candidates endorsed by DeSantis in runoff elections Tuesday, five squared off against opponents backed by the Florida Democratic Party. And five of those DeSantis candidates won their races.
POLITICO reported, in three other races, school board candidates endorsed by Democrats faced off against candidates backed by Moms for Liberty. Those supported by Moms for Liberty, a group that has emerged on the forefront of education in part by being active in local school board meetings, won each of those contests.
Alicia Farrant, part of Moms for Liberty, won her school board seat in Left-leaning Orange County (Orlando) with backing from the 1776 Project PAC, a conservative group focused on removing any influence of critical race theory over K-12 curriculum.
The Election Day winners join 19 other DeSantis-backed school board candidates who won in the first round of non-partisan voting in August.
Was the “Red Wave” oversold, including by us? Perhaps. In states and localities where Democrats exercise institutional control over elections there was at best a local ripple, but in states where there are free and fair elections, like Florida and Texas, the Red Wave was real.
Control of Congress
Right to life
Critical Race Theory
student loan forgiveness