As the results from Tuesday night's election continue to be digested, it's become apparent that we experienced a blue shockwave: an unexpected yanking of the country back toward the center and away from the medieval notions of the Tea Party.
The big winners: women. Obama carried women by 55%. New Hampshire's entire delegation is now represented by women. 20 women will be US Senators--an all time high. The US House will have at least 77 women in the body, also a new record.
And oh by the way, if you declare a war on women--you'd best be prepared to lose. BIG.
Overall, Democrats gained 2 seats in the US Senate. I find this astounding, given that Democrats were defending 23 senate seats and the GOP were only defending 10. The Republicans were absolutely outmatched and frankly, unprepared for the losses. Their media bubble burst in a huge way.
Were it not for Republican gerrymandering of so many US House Districts across the country, they'd likely have lost the US House as well. One of the residual consequences of the 2010 election: the GOP took over a bunch of state legislatures and gerrymandered the hell out of House Districts. Elections matter--even midterm ones.
Closer to home, the blue shockwave hit the state legislature. The Democrats return to majority status in the Oregon House with a 34-26 lead. This status will likely elevate Rep. Tina Kotek to the first openly lesbian Speaker in the US. The Oregon Senate retains a 16-14 Democratic majority.
But Tuesday was not a full on victory for the Democrats.
It's clear that progressives and Democrats in Oregon have a lot of work to do at the hyper local level, especially in Clackamas County.
One of the more egregiously terrible legislators on the Republican side managed to hold on: Rep. Julie Parrish (R-West Linn). I'm told that Parrish is generally disliked on both sides of the aisle and that her floor speeches are eye-rolling even for her own caucus. Despite her questionable campaign finance reporting and attempts at statewide voter suppression, Parrish was able to squeeze out a victory.
The Clackamas County Commission, at least for now, has been shoved hard to the right. John Ludlow is poised to take over as County Chair. And gun raffle queen Tootie Smith appears to have won the open commission seat. Of course much of this will remain up in the air until the Clackamas County elections fraud scandal investigation is complete.
In Lake Oswego, the mayoral race appears to have the excellent Greg MacPherson losing to hyper conservative Kent Studebaker, in a squeaker. The LO City Council will now also have a conservative majority.
Yup. LOTS of work to do in Clackamas.