The Republican Party was obviously the big winner on Tuesday. But the midterm elections also produced some notable losers, chief among them the president and his big-government policies.
This generational GOP tide means that the party now controls both the House and Senate for the first time in eight years and its domination is at historic proportions. Not since Harry Truman was in the Oval Office have Republicans held such a large majority in the House, and they're now stronger in state government than they have been at any time since the 1920s.
Such big wins don't come without big losers. Tuesday's results left some prominent busts.
ObamaCare: The November IBD/TIPP poll found that 63% of likely voters said ObamaCare was of "high importance" to their vote. Apparently, they meant it. Every single newly elected Republican senator has pledged to repeal the law. Republicans ran a heavy ad campaign attacking it, and voters rewarded the GOP with a Senate majority and more House seats.
Likely future Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged to start dismantling ObamaCare as soon as the next Congress reconvenes. We won't be happy until the whole thing is in the junk pile.
Tom Steyer/Green Movement: Billionaire Steyer spent $74 million on a variety of races around the country, trying to sell voters on the idea of imminent doom from global warming from CO2 in the atmosphere. His political action committee, NextGen Climate, ran dozens of global warming commercials on the Web, more than 7,000 in key states.
But Steyer's money had less influence on election-night outcomes than CO2 has on global temperatures. By one estimate, three-quarters of the money he spent went to losing candidates. Meanwhile, two candidates Steyer desperately tried to beat, Cory Gardner in Colorado and Joni Ernst in Iowa, easily won Senate seats.
Anti-Koch Brothers Fanaticism: Billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch became the issue for desperate Democrats last summer as polls soured. Majority Leader Harry Reid bashed them hundreds of times in speeches on and off the Senate floor for their largesse to conservative and libertarian causes.
Meanwhile, the Center for American Progress, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a handful of ultraliberal super-PACs and others piled on with relentless, unhinged, irrational attacks. In the end, the inane attacks on the Kochs had no impact.
Mainstream Media: As polls flashed warning signs of Democratic defeat, Big Media spent weeks selling their readers and listeners on the idea this was an "election about nothing." It showed. The Media Research Center compared TV coverage in 2006, a major year for the Democrats, with 2014, a sweeping win for the GOP. It found that in the Democrats' big year, network news aired a combined 159 campaign stories. This year, with Republicans surging, just 25.
The mainstream media were glum after Tuesday's results — almost as if they, not Democrats, had lost. ABC's George Stephanopoulos and analyst Matt Dowd asserted that, even after its sweeping victory, "the Republican brand is still very damaged." Sorry, but with plunging readership and viewership, it is the mainstream media's brand that seems very damaged.
Diversity Lies: Liberal Democrats have spent years criticizing the GOP for its lack of "diversity." This midterm pretty much destroyed that with a series of first-evers. Iowa's Joni Ernst, a company commander in the Iraq War, was elected the state's first female in Congress, while West Virginia's Shelley Moore Capito will take a seat as her state's first female senator. Utah's Mia Love is the first black Republican congresswoman. And South Carolina's Tim Scott is his state's first elected black senator.
Then there's New York's Elise Stefanik, at just 30 years old the youngest woman of either party ever elected to Congress. Meanwhile, New York's Lee Zeldin became the House's only Jewish Republican and, at press time, openly gay California Republican Carl DeMaio clung to a slim lead in California's 52nd District. Even the mainstream media took notice. An NBC News headline noted: "Midterm Wave Ushers In Class Of Younger, More Diverse Republicans."
Public-Sector Unions: Long the super ally of the White House, Big Labor took its hardest drubbing after spending millions to unsuccessfully unseat four Midwestern governors who curbed their power. Ohio Gov. John Kasich won by a higher margin than expected; Bruce Rauner booted Illinois' union-pawn Gov. Pat Quinn on a pro-market platform; Michigan's right-to-work Gov. Rick Snyder was re-elected handily; and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker beat back a third attempt to unseat him by his widest margin yet.
War On Women: With no economic recovery to sell, the alliterative shot at the GOP was one of the last things left for Democrats to fuss about. Problem: They already tried it in 2012. Texas' Wendy Davis imploded as voters focused on economic issues.
What's more, the approach failed against a field of strong GOP female candidates. In Iowa, Democrats slipped into rank sexism, warning voters that combat veteran Ernst was "attractive."
Open Borders: Since at least 2008, Democrats and some Republicans have made it conventional wisdom to think that the way to a permanent majority is amnesty for illegals, creating millions of new voters. It failed decisively. Starting with the ouster of former GOP Rep. Eric Cantor in the primaries, pro-amnesty candidates went down like dominoes — in Colorado, Arkansas, Illinois and Alaska. Even left-wing stronghold Oregon rejected driver's licenses for illegals.
Tax Hikers: They proved to be a live issue with voters, and the governors who enacted tax hikes were gut-punched. In Illinois, Quinn, who spent years chasing out business with nonstop tax increases and expanding government, was ousted by Rauner, who ran on a tax-cut platform. Seems job creation, purchasing power and investment matter after all.