The pundit class of the mainstream media is apparently still in shock and denial over the results of the 2014 midterm elections, a contest that was so-only sided that it’s hard to put into context. The results of a handful of races are still in doubt thanks to run-off elections and recounts, but the overall outcome is clear. Republicans will have control of up to 54 seats in the U.S. Senate, and up to 250 seats in the House of Representatives. Republicans scored huge gains on the state level as well, winning the governor’s mansions and control of the legislatures in even traditionally “blue” states.
It was—to put it mildly—a historic butt-whooping, and the worst election for Democrats since the 1920s, since before progressives (then more accurately described as communists and socialists) were even part of the party.
In Colorado, it appears that Democrat John Hickenlooper, reeling and running from the gun control legislation that he signed, barely retained office in a race that he would have otherwise easily won if he hadn’t inflamed so many gun owners. Future gun control in Colorado is a dead issue… at least for a while.
Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy retained office in his dark blue state due to a weak opponent and a sizable party advantage, and now enters a dangerous second term, where he must figure out how to live with more than 100,000 gun owners who refused to comply with the state’s “assault weapon” registration law. Largely ignored by the national media, Connecticut is a powder keg that could easily erupt into a civil war if Malloy dares to attempt confiscation of hundreds of thousands of firearms and millions of standard capacity magazines that citizens refused to register.
Across the border in neighboring New York Andrew Cuomo coasted to reelection as governor thanks to a massive downstate advantage in New York City, but has even less hope of enforcing the more onerous provisions of NY SAFE than Malloy does, with owners of over a million “assault weapons” in the Empire State refusing to comply.
And these three races were the bright spots for Democrat governors in 2014. Overall, it was a bloodbath.
Greg Abbott trounced Wendy Davis in Texas, and announced that he’d sign a bill legalizing the open carry of handguns just as soon as legislators put the bill on his new governor’s desk.
Anthony Brown, the hand-selected heir-apparent to the out-going anti-gun Martin O’Malley, referred to his opponent as a gun-loving “extremist” throughout the election. He was trounced, as Larry Hogan took his NRA “A-” rating to smash Brown by nine points in the deep blue state.
Incumbent Pat Quinn, who fought tooth and nail for gun control and recently proposed a state-level assault weapon ban in Illinois, was likewise convincingly defeated boy five points in the deep blue state.
In Maine, Gabby Giffords-backed Michael Michaud failed against NRA-backed incumbent Paul LePage
NRA-backed candidates also won in Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Do not expect any governors, in even traditionally blue states, to push gun control in the next few years. Instead, expect them to support a widening of concealed carry, and perhaps the call for a national concealed carry reciprocity act.
As important as the governor’s races were, all eyes were on the U.S. Senate races, where Republicans were expected to gain seats, and the big question was whether or not they would take control of the Senate, and if so, by how much.
While the dust is still settling, NRA-backed candidates in the Senate will be taking power as a result of the elections, and Democrats who supported gun control will be pondering their retirement plans.
Despite running the most expensive senatorial campaign in U.S. history, Kay Hagan was unseated in North Carolina by NRA-backed Thom Tillis.
In Kentucky, Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes attempted to portray herself as a pro-gun candidate on the surface while supporting President Obama’s anti-gun policies, and was immediately crushed as the first Senate hopeful to fall election night to Second Amendment-supporting Mitch McConnell.
NRA-backed Senate candidates also won in Arkansas, Georgia, West Virginia, and Utah. The outcome in Alaska (where both candidates had NRA “A”-rating) will likely result in another Republican victory, and the Louisiana run-off in December is expected to see NRA-backed Bill Cassidy dethrone Democrat incumbent Mary Landrieu.
The stunning degree of upset in the Senate, along with the expansion of the control of the U.S. House of Representatives, means that gun owners have a real shot at passing gun-friendly bills on the national level.
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