By Paul Gable
Election 2012 is now history and we correctly predicted President Barack Obama would be returned to office for four more years.
This was an obvious pick from various polling data over the last week of the race, but the overall results on the national level demonstrated once again that American voters cannot be taken for granted.
Challenger Mitt Romney ran on the economy and the number one concern of voters in exit polling interviews was the economy, yet incumbent Obama was re-elected and it wasn’t as close as we anticipated. In fact, it could be called a landslide in the electoral vote column.
The American public obviously understands the economic collapse of 2007-08 left such a mess there was no possible short-term fix. It took the country 10 years and the economic stimulus of major war production to get the country out of the Great Depression. Our current Great Recession is not that different.
In our opinion, it means the House and Senate leadership of both parties in Washington must change. The same voters who returned Obama to four more years also returned a solid Republican majority in the House and a solid Democratic majority in the Senate.
Split party control of the House, Senate and executive branch, in various permutations, are an American historical tradition. Rarely in American history have voters allowed one party to control all three at the same time. It’s kind of the voters’ personal guarantee of separation of powers.
But, governing from the extreme right or left is not a tradition of American history and certainly hasn’t worked over the last two years. In our opinion, we must remember this is the United States of America and some type of unity must be reached in Washington on major fiscal issues.
In other races we predicted, our score was 1 ½ to 3½. So much for what we know.
The new 7th Congressional District saw the “R” behind Tom Rice’s name pull him through to a 10 point victory over Democrat Gloria Bromell Tinubu. One up.
We missed our picks on state General Assembly races nearly 100 percent. The only prediction that was even partially correct was in the SC House District 105 race.
Katrina Shealy won a strong victory over incumbent Jake Knotts in Senate District 23, making at least Gov. Nikki Haley incredibly happy. Here negative campaigning worked well. One down.
Incumbent Nikki Setzler of Senate District 26, however, relatively easily held back the challenge of DeeDee Vaughters. Here negative campaigning lost big. Two down.
In Horry County, the new House District 56 was claimed by Tea Party favorite Mike Ryhal in one of the closest races of the night, a 52 vote margin of victory with over 9,000 cast. Ryhal’s victory keeps the Tea Party marginally relevant in Horry County. Three down.
In House District 105, where five petition candidates battled it out with no party nominees involved, former county councilman Kevin Hardee won a fairly solid decision claiming over 40 percent of the vote in the five man race. ½ up as Hardee was one of our two picks to come out on top.