West Virginia’s Senate race has been called, and Republican Shelley Moore Capito defeated Democrat Natalie Tennant. Most polls leading up to this election showed Capito headed toward an easy victory in a big pickup for Republicans who are hoping to take control of the Senate.
This was for Democrat Jay Rockefeller’s seat, an incumbent who decided to retire rather than seek a sixth term. His decision to not seek re-election was a big win for Republicans.
And while this race isn’t exactly a shocking loss for Democrats, it is still a blow to their chances at keeping power in the Senate. Because every Democratic loss brings Republicans one step closer to gaining the majority.
But there’s one thing for certain – West Virginia has its first female senator. This also marks the first outright pickup tonight for Republicans in the Senate.
Where do Democrats go from here? That’s tough to say. My theory is that the party needs to do a lot of “soul searching” starting tomorrow, otherwise Republicans are going to continue to make these kinds of gains in the next several years.
Many Democrats made the mistake of running from the accomplishments of the Obama administration instead of embracing them. This not only came off as weak, but I believe it really had a negative impact on the enthusiasm for liberal voters to get out and vote this election.
So far this evening there’s been no real surprises as most elections are too close to call or the polls haven’t closed yet. But no matter what the rest of tonight has in store for either party, this Republican pickup in the Senate (though not shocking) is still a big win for Republicans.
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