By S.E. Cupp
Back in 2010, during the midterm elections, people in my field were of course panting in breathless anticipation as we watched important congressional races to see how many seats Republicans would pick up two years after Barack Obama came into office. Would it be a turnover of the Senate? How sweeping would the House pickups be? Who’d take Pelosi’s place? What would it mean for the tea party? We all know how it turned out. I’m fond of the way one notable described it…as a “shellacking.”
But overlooked were the equally important governors races. I had my eye on them here and there, just to keep up with redistricting possibilities. But no one could have predicted just how important the state houses would be so soon into 2011. In short, whether you’re Chris Christie or Scott Walker, governors are having the best month ever, and it’s clear the Republican gains in the state houses last year are having a huge impact on domestic policy. (And, let’s face it, they’re a major thorn in President Obama’s side.)
In 2010 Democrats took five governorships from the Republicans…California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota and Vermont. But Republicans took a whopping 11 governorships from the Democrats, including key states like Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Who knew how big THAT one would turn out. Republicans also won Florida, which had previously been held by an Independent. Before he was a Republican. So Republicans held a majority of governorships for the first time since 2006.
No one would have predicted just a few months ago that it would be these governors, and not celebrity senators like the thus far invisible Marco Rubio or the tea party favorite Rand Paul, who would be making the most noise.
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