Republicans had a decisive victory in last week’s midterm elections, winning several key states and ultimately the Senate majority. The gubernatorial race was also swept by Republicans, with governor re-elections in Maryland, Wisconsin, Florida and here in Michigan with Rick Snyder.
“People are frustrated with what they see going on in Washington and they’re looking for a change,” junior public relations major Arielle Borkovich said. “I hope that we can move in a positive direction.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell won re-election by a large margin, securing his spot as Senate Majority Leader come January.
“Some things don’t change after tonight,” McConnell in a victory speech said. “I don’t expect the President to wake up tomorrow and view the world any differently than he did when he woke up this morning.”
After some silence, McConnell quipped, “He knows I won’t either,” to thunderous applause.
“But look, we do have an obligation to work together on issues where we can agree,” McConnell said. “I think we have a duty to do that. Just because we have a two-party system doesn’t mean we have to be in perpetual conflict.”
Mason Bailey, a finance major at Michigan State University, says “The recent uproar of votes for Republicans in the Senate is no surprise, given President Obama’s recent shift to national unpopularity.”
Bailey contends that Obama’s decisions regarding the NSA and foreign policy could be to blame for the resulted Republican congress (the first since 2006).
“Even at Spartan Stadium, where many of the seats are filled with what should be left-leaning college students, when Obama’s face is shown on the big screen it gets bombarded with jeers from the football crowd,” Bailey said. “Obama has lost many of the people that supported him from the beginning.”
Certainly President Obama’s remaining two years in office will be affected by a GOP-unified Congress, but just how much? In a press conference following the election results, the President stressed bipartisanship.
“The key is to make sure that [the] ideas that I have overlap somewhere with some of the ideas that Republicans have,” Obama said.
Obama met with newly elected GOP leaders over lunch last Friday to discuss just how much political “overlap” there might be between parties. As Republicans are preparing immigration reform legislation, GOP leaders warned President Obama not to take executive action. It appears as though Obama will act if legislation isn’t signed by year’s end.
More gridlock, then? Will the parties ever get along? Borkovich hopes not.
“I hope that [Congress] will be more productive. However, difficult decisions need to be made and someone is always going to be disappointed with the outcomes,” Borkovich said.
For more on the midterm election and a live senate floor webcast, visit www.senate.gov.