Why Weren't the 2010 Elections a Game Changer?

There are rumors that after Congress spent an additional 100 billion dollars (they don’t have), to extend the payroll tax cut thru the end of the year, they don’t plan to take any other major Congressional actions. We’ll see. Meanwhile, this is a good time to take stock of where our country is headed. Some of our grassroots citizens are deeply disappointed that the newly elected members of Congress failed to change the status quo in Washington. Perhaps some were overly optimistic regarding what could actually be accomplished. Winning a net gain of 7 seats in the US Senate took the Democrats from a filibuster-proof majority of 60 to 53. They still hold the majority in the Senate, however, and the minority has little say in what gets voted on in the Senate. Of course we want the Democrats to be in the minority, but for now we had to settle for being able to filibuster the worst of Democrat-led legislation. However, this only allows things to remain unchanged instead of changed for the better.

The Republicans winning a net gain of 67 seats in the US House placed the Democrats in the minority. While this was good for the GOP, we need to keep in mind that these 67 did not come to Washington as a solid political bloc with the same core beliefs. And even if they did – it was not a majority of the 243 members of the House GOP Conference. There wasn’t any big fight between members for the leadership position of Speaker. The 2010 election was unlike the 1994 election because the GOP had only been out of the majority for 4 years instead of 40. The Speaker got 147 Republicans to vote “Yes” on the 100 billion dollar payroll tax cut extension bill. If all of those 147 vote for him to remain Speaker, then he will remain Speaker.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that a midterm election is not when anyone should expect big things to happen and abruptly change the course of the nation. These kinds of changes can be expected in a presidential election year when the presidency, the House seats, and 1/3rd of the Senate seats are up for grabs. In other words, 2012 needs to be an even greater victory for conservatives than 2010.

Below I have created tables scoring Republicans now sitting in seats previously held by Democrats. Please keep in mind that almost all of the scores would be “0” if the Democrat was still in the seat. I use the Heritage Action Score Card. They are tough graders, and as conservatives they don’t apologize for being tough. I did not include Robert Turner NY-9 because he has only been in office since September of 2011. I also did not include those in a seat previously held by a Republican. I intended no slight, but I want to focus mainly on the seats which resulted in a net gain for our side. We need more gains in 2012 please.

Scores for the US GOP Senators in a seat previously held by a Democrat

Name State Score
Ron Johnson WI 93%
Pat Toomey PA 87%
Dan Coats IN 79%
John Boozman AR 71%
John Hoeven ND 64%
Mark Kirk IL 64%
Scott Brown MA 45%

Scores for the US GOP Representatives in a seat previously held by a Democrat

Name District Score
Joe Walsh IL-8 95%
Mick Mulvaney SC-5 95%
David Schweikert AZ-5 91%
Steve Southerland FL-2 89%
Raúl Labrador ID-1 87%
Jeff Landry LA-3 87%
Steve Chabot OH-1 82%
Randy Hultgren IL-14 81%
Andy Harris MD-1 81%
Tim Walberg MI-7 81%
Ann Marie Buerkle NY-25 81%
Reid Ribble WI-8 81%
Austin Scott GA-8 79%
Steve Pearce NM-2 78%
Sandy Adams FL-24 76%
Scott DesJarlais TN-4 76%
Dan Benishek MI-1 75%
Bill Flores TX-17 75%
Frank Guinta NH-1 74%
Allen West FL-22 73%
Todd Young IN-9 73%
Vicky Hartzler MO-4 73%
Alan Nunnelee MS-1 72%
Kevin Yoder KS-3 72%
Scott Rigell VA-2 71%
Robert Hurt VA-5 70%
Paul Gosar AZ-1 70%
Cory Gardner CO-4 70%
Stephen Fincher TN-8 70%
Scott Tipton CO-3 69%
Daniel Webster FL-8 68%
Larry Bucshon IN-8 68%
Quico Canseco TX-23 68%
Blake Farenthold TX-27 67%
Diane Black TN-6 67%
Tim Griffin AR-2 66%
Renee Ellmers NC-2 64%
Tom Reed NY-29 64%
Chip Cravaack MN-8 63%
Adam Kinzinger IL-11 63%
Bill Johnson OH-6 63%
Morgan Griffith VA-9 63%
Jaime Herrera Beutler WA-3 62%
Martha Roby AL-2 62%
Steven Palazzo MS-4 62%
Rick Berg ND-at large 62%
Bob Gibbs OH-18 62%
Nan Hayworth NY-19 61%
Kristi Noem SD-at large 61%
Rick Crawford AR-1 57%
Jim Renacci OH-16 57%
Tom Marino PA-10 57%
Sean Duffy WI-7 57%
Bobby Schilling IL-17 56%
Joe Heck NV-3 55%
Steve Stivers OH-15 54%
Mike Kelly PA-3 54%
Lou Barletta PA-11 53%
Charles Bass NH-2 53%
Mike Fitzpatrick PA-8 50%
Chris Gibson NY-20 48%
Pat Meehan PA-7 48%
Jon Runyan NJ-3 46%
Michael Grimm NY-13 44%
Richard Hanna NY-24 43%
David McKinley WV-1 41%

Cross-posted at Unified Patriots