It became rather obvious that Allen had conceded when at 8.23 pm GMT on Thursday, the US Election Atlas forum gave me the “Connection Problems” page.
I think we’re all aware of the saying that “Oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them”. And the Republicans certainly lost this one.
So now the reasons.
Why the Republicans lost:
Iraq. This is the primary reason why they lost. Little has gone right in Iraq over the last two years, in fact the last three and people were highly frustrated. Thus they voted against the party they deemed responsible. Bush’s “stay the course” rhetoric ultimately didn’t help.
Corruption- both moral and financial. Foleygate was really the moment when the House became unsalvageable for the GOP. Ney cost the GOP OH-18, Foley FL-16.
The evangelicals didn’t turn out. Mostly for reason 2.
Hurricane Katrina. If the federal government hadn’t been so incompetent when it came to dealing with this disaster, George W. Bush wouldn’t have lost a great deal of popularity.
The Latino vote. There was a 15% swing against the Republicans among this group and it probably cost them some close races. Appeasing the base by a tough stance on immigration meant that this group was annoyed.
The economy got wildly misinterpreted. Despite the DOW going over 12,000 and the lowest unemployment rate for 5 years, 50% of the CNN exit poll sample thought the economy was not very good or poor.
Virginia. I think it’s safe to say that if Allen hadn’t made the comment he did, the Republicans would have retained the Senate on Cheney’s casting vote.
Why the Democrats won:
Managed to avoid any major gaffes. Kerry’s botched joke was the worst, which is saying something.
Didn’t define their Iraq policy. If they’d specified an Iraq policy, they’d have been attacked on it. All they needed to do was say “we need to change course”. I’d have preferred an alternative policy, but you can’t have everything.
I’d have to agree with what someone said at US Election Atlas- they effectively portrayed the entire Congressional GOP as uncritical Bush followers.
So, Congress has changed, for better or worse.
Now onto 2008…
Edited to make the last Democrat point clearer.