I think I did pretty well with my predictions
. I was a bit conservative and underestimated the Democratic wave. I definitely underestimated how that wave would trickle down to local races.
Klobuchar won, but by much more than the high single digits. Republicans knew that they were going to lose this, but they hoped to keep it relatively close to prevent a catastrophe for their other candidates. They did not keep it close, and the catastrophe came.
Hatch did lose by less than a couple. A lot of people are going to say that it was his "Republican whore" comment that did him in. My gut says that's not true; I think he pissed off too many Democrats by how he acted earlier this year. But there is no way to test this theory now, and the popular explanation that it was his "meltdown" will carry the day.
Incumbents did win, with the exception of Gutknecht. That was the only race where I saw a possibility of flipping, and I was right. Rowley was a terrible, terrible candidate. Wetterling was not as bad as Rowley but was not good enough to win. No other incumbents were in trouble.
Democrats ran the table with the other statewide offices. Part of the Democratic wave.
For the Minnesota House and Senate, I did not see the huge DFL rout (but I don't think anybody else did either). The Democrats in the Senate added a net of six, more than the "one or two" I predicted. Instead of the low 70s, the Democrats in the House are now at 85. All DFL incumbents in the House won; the Senate lost Dallas Sams and Dean Johnson.
I do feel bad for Johnson. By keeping gay marriage off the ballot, he helped engineer the big DFL gains. But more than that, he did the right thing. And he paid for it. As a preacher, I'm sure he's well versed in this kind of situation.
Nationally, I predicted low 20s for the House, and the Democrats are in the upper 20s now with several races left. The Senate will be controlled by the Democrats as well, with a net gain of six seats. I honestly didn't think the Democrats would be able to win Virginia, Montana, and Missouri, but they did.
There was other good news nationally too. Arizona rejected a gay marriage ban. South Dakota rejected a ban on abortions, proving once again that even in a conservative state, the majority of people want to keep abortion legal in at least some circumstances.
An aside on the abortion debate...I am sick and tired of hearing from people that "If the Democrats want to win they should become pro-life" and "Democrats don't respect their pro-life members." First of all, there are a lot more pro-life Democrats than pro-choice Republicans. If you take a look at the Minnesota House, for example, there are plenty of pro-life Democrats and no more than one pro-choice Republican. But more than that, I fail to see why both major parties should be pro-life if the majority of people in this country are pro-choice. Where are the majority of pro-choicers supposed to go with two pro-life politcal parties? Democrats just proved that they can win by respecting abortion rights (like in Kansas where a Democrat knocked off the abortion-obsessed pervert of a Republican Attorney General). So give it up. I don't want to hear anymore about your grandparents in Podunk, Nebraska who voted Democrat their entire life until they started voting for Republicans based on that one issue.
The new Democratic majorities are not more liberal, nor are they more conservative. They are diverse. I certainly hope they start out by pursuing the agenda they laid out for people and that the voters agreed with: raising the minimum wage, implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 commission, and investigating the malfeasance of the Bush administration. People want answers, they want accountability, and they want results. The Democrats are poised to deliver what the people want.