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The era of bigger and bigger government is over – at least for the foreseeable future.
Republicans did what they needed to do on Election Day. They have seemingly retaken the House of Representatives, picking up around ten seats, ushering in divided government. The House GOP offers a welcome bulwark against destructive leftist policies.
That means the end of Democrats’ reckless spending that’s fueling the inflationary fire burning holes in Americans’ pockets. It means tax increases, radical labor law rewrites, and other destructive far-left legislative proposals are off the table. Small business owners are breathing a sigh of relief.
Republicans also still have a path to retaking the Senate. If Nevada Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt can maintain his lead, Senate control will be determined (as in 2020) by the Georgia runoff election in December.
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If the GOP can thread this Senate needle, it can also offer a check against the confirmation of Biden’s activist judges who would rubber-stamp his executive overreach. This control is especially important as Biden will increasingly resort to executive orders over the next two years to try to implement his agenda in the face of a divided government.
Republicans’ performance on Election Day was a victory for small businesses, the economy, and the country. Voters made their voices heard that they want an end to progressive control of the government. Yet it’s also a disappointment that no red wave materialized to more fully repudiate Biden and Congressional Democrats’ failures over the last two years.
Part of the reason for Republicans’ relatively few House pickups (at least by historical midterm standards) is prosaic: The GOP got a head start in 2020 when it gained 14 House seats. Those wins, combined with this cycle’s, make the overall performance more impressive.
As I predicted, Republicans narrowed Democrats’ lead among Hispanics – but not by enough. The GOP must continue targeting this growing demographic of (in the words of Ronald Reagan) Republicans who don’t know it yet to eliminate the remaining Hispanic partisan gap.
Democrats also ran up the score among white female college graduates and non-married women, whom they won by 14 and 37 points, respectively, according to exit polls. The Democrats’ shameful demagoguery of abortion clearly had an impact. So did their dirty primary tricks elevating Republican candidates unpopular with this demographic.
Perhaps the biggest bright spot for Republicans this election was the resounding victories from governors who successfully managed a once-in-a-century pandemic and a challenging economic environment. For instance, Govs. Brian Kemp (GA) and Ron DeSantis (FL) dramatically outperformed their 2018 totals and other Republicans despite coming under withering scrutiny over their Covid-19 response. Govs. Kim Reynolds (IA) and Kristi Noem (SD) also had big nights.
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Voters rewarded these governors for resisting pressure from the Biden administration, media, and various “experts” to close their economies and put onerous restrictions on small businesses. They kept their economies open and empowered their small businesses with sound policies to allow them to flourish despite historic challenges. And they have been vindicated for it.
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Confidently standing up for free markets and fighting back against woke culture as these governors have done is a recipe to break through the country’s partisan balkanization. These state laboratories of democracy, which Job Creators Network has been highlighting as part of its Great Opportunity Project, reveal the best path forward to jumpstart the national economy and provide a template for other pro-small business policymakers and candidates to follow.
The first step in a national economic turnaround is stopping the bad policy from Washington. Republicans accomplished this on Election Day. The next step is building momentum by copying victorious GOP governors. By working off the same successful playbook, Republicans can achieve lasting victories against big government and unleash shared economic prosperity for years to come.
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