The following is an analysis of this year's midterm election outcomes by Dr. Charles Dunn, distinguished professor at Regent University and frequent political analyst for CBN News:
First, Republicans missed a golden opportunity to win an electoral avalanche, because they failed to balance their negative campaign against President Barack Obama and the Democrats with a positive agenda of what they stand for. Unfortunately, Republicans presented themselves as reactors rather than initiators. Americans are looking for positive ideas and not just negative opposition to the other side. Put another way -- Republicans failed to have a well thought-out game plan.
Second, historians will call 2010 "The Year of the Tea Party," which brought energy, enthusiasm, and intensity to the Republican Party. Absent the Tea Party, the Republicans would not have enjoyed doing as well as they did. New candidates and new campaign workers came into this election because of the Tea Party. So, the Tea Party is not something to be scorned, but to be thanked for its vital contribution to Republican success.
Third, Sarah Palin was a big winner because of the IOUs she deposited in her bank from the candidates she inspired and, in many instances, helped to elect. Going into 2012, she now has a bank full of IOUs from which to draw if she chooses to compete for the Republican nomination. No other prospective Republican presidential candidate came close to depositing as many IOUs in the bank as she did.
Fourth, Florida's Marco Rubio won big, not just in the electoral winds that blew his way, but also because he now becomes the most important Latino politician in America and in the Republican Party, which desperately needs to build a bridge to Latino voters. He's bright, articulate, and young -- and would make an excellent vice presidential or presidential nominee.
Fifth, the biggest victory for Republicans occurred below the radar screen. Republicans now control a majority of the governorships in the big 10 electoral vote states. That's significant for two reasons -- organizing to win the presidency in 2012 and redrawing congressional district lines to favor Republicans.
Sixth, failure to win control of the Senate was a blessing in disguise for Republicans. Now, President Obama cannot charge Republicans as "The Do Nothing Congress" because Democrats control one house of Congress as well as the White House. Also, strategically, House Republicans can go on the offense by passing legislation and sending it to the Democratically controlled Senate, forcing Democrats to be negative in reacting to Republican initiatives rather than the other way around. These initiatives can be bold, including extension of the Bush tax cuts and repeal of President Obama's Health Care.