Political observers called it months ago, but Tuesday’s midterm elections made it official: The Republicans have captured control of the U.S. Senate.
And even though this outcome was predicted, the actual numbers are making it that much more impactful. According to a CNN report, Republican candidates across the nation won seven Senate seats that were held by Democrats. That’s right: Senate seats flipped from the blue to the red column in Iowa, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas, West Virginia and North Carolina.
For President Obama’s remaining two years as president of the United States, he’ll have to contend with a Republican-led Senate and a base that some political observers believe is inherently weak because, they say, it’s a withering coalition that grew out of the soil of Obama-mania and not from a sincere passion for and support of Democratic policies.
The Republican National Committee is crediting its unprecedented ground game for the win. “By investing early across this country, the RNC was able to provide critical support to our candidates and campaigns. The RNC has been involved in communities across this country, building relationships and listening to voters. We built an unprecedented data and digital operation, allowing us to reach voters and equip a winning ground game,” its postelection press statement read.
This year a record number of black Americans ran for statewide positions. Here’s a quick look at how some of those races fared:
1. Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott on Tuesday became the first African American to win a senatorial race in the South since Reconstruction.
Scott was appointed to his Senate position back in 2012 when his predecessor, Sen. Jim DeMint, resigned, but Scott had to officially run for the seat during this year’s election cycle in order to fulfill DeMint’s term. He emerged victorious, defeating Democratic challenger Joyce Dickerson.
Scott will be at it again in two years, since he’ll have to throw his hat back in the ring “in order to earn a full six-year term,” a CNN report explains.
2. Cory Booker retains his Senate seat.
Booker’s first foray into the U.S. Senate came about as a result of a special election to fill the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s seat. Lautenberg died in 2013 while in office.
“Booker was favored to win the race from the beginning. But he ran an aggressive campaign that touted his bipartisan bona fides, including his work with Republican senators on key pieces of legislation,” the Star-Ledger explains.
3. State Sen. Nina Turner lost Ohio’s secretary of state race to a Republican challenger.
The Ohio state senator conceded the race to Republican incumbent John Husted on Tuesday night. Turner said she planned to leave the state Senate after this year, but she shouldn't sulk, since apparently she is “an instant favorite to run for mayor of Cleveland in 2017, assuming incumbent Frank Jackson doesn't seek an unprecedented fourth term,” the Plain Dealer reports.
4. Maryland’s close governor’s race: Republican Larry Hogan beats Democrat Anthony Brown.
Brown is currently the state’s lieutenant governor and would have become the state’s first African-American governor if elected. The Washington Post describes the close contest: “Republican businessman Larry Hogan scored a stunning upset in heavily Democratic Maryland on Tuesday, winning the governor’s race against Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown (D) by promising to roll back tax increases and chart a new direction for the state.”
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features expert advice for TV and film’s most complex characters. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.