5 quick takeaways from the election

Here are some quick thoughts on the midterms.

1. GOP governors might be the biggest winners of the night.

Victories by Republicans in several deep blue states, incluiding Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland, coupled with a slew of GOP incumbents in the Midwest winning re-election, puts the GOP in excellent position going into 2016.  Statehouses in the Midwest are now a sea of red, with Republican governors in IL, IN, MI, WI, and Ohio.  Rick Scott's victory in FL is also significant.  All told, the only downer of the night for Republican governors was Tom Corbett's blowout loss in PA.

2. Red states got redder.

The key to the GOP Senate victory was turnout in red states.  Much larger than expected victories for Mitch McConnell in KY, David Perdue in GA, Thom Tillis in NC, Tom Cotton in AR, and Pat Roberts in Kansas all turned close races as of last week into comfortable Republican wins.  Driving that turnout was disgust with President Obama.  All those GOP candidates were able to successfully hang Obama around the necks of their Democratic opponents.  It worked.

3. The GOP can win in purple states.

Victories by Cory Gardner in CO and Joni Ernst in IA were expected in the final days of the campaign.  But their margin of victory was surprising, as was the showing by Republican candidates in two other purple states: New Hampshire and Virginia.  All four candidates ran excellent campaigns, stayed on message, and didn't get distracted by Democratic attacks.  Note to GOP 2016 hopefuls: are you paying attention?

4. Night of the Republican women.

Susana Martinez was re-elected governor of New Mexico.  Shelly Capito and Joni Ernst were elected to the Senate.  Mia Love became the first black GOP woman elected to Congress.  Up and down the ballot, Republican women were victorious.  Other races, like the Senate contest in Oregon, featured strong Republican female candidates who came up short.  The bottom line is that the Democrats' "war on women" meme aimed at Republicans was buried under an avalanche of votes for GOP female candidates.

5. Questions as to whether the Democrats can reassemble their winning coalition.

Millennials, minorities, and single women failed to turn out to vote for Democrats.  This isn't surprising in itself, since historically, these groups don't participate in large numbers in off-year elections.

But Democratic strategists have to be worried – especially about the votes of the young and women.  House exit polls showed the gender gap narrowing and a loss of enthusiasm for Democrats from Millennials.  Can Hillary Clinton put Humpty-Dumpty back together again?  On that, will the 2016 election hinge.

Here are some quick thoughts on the midterms.

1. GOP governors might be the biggest winners of the night.

Victories by Republicans in several deep blue states, incluiding Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland, coupled with a slew of GOP incumbents in the Midwest winning re-election, puts the GOP in excellent position going into 2016.  Statehouses in the Midwest are now a sea of red, with Republican governors in IL, IN, MI, WI, and Ohio.  Rick Scott's victory in FL is also significant.  All told, the only downer of the night for Republican governors was Tom Corbett's blowout loss in PA.

2. Red states got redder.

The key to the GOP Senate victory was turnout in red states.  Much larger than expected victories for Mitch McConnell in KY, David Perdue in GA, Thom Tillis in NC, Tom Cotton in AR, and Pat Roberts in Kansas all turned close races as of last week into comfortable Republican wins.  Driving that turnout was disgust with President Obama.  All those GOP candidates were able to successfully hang Obama around the necks of their Democratic opponents.  It worked.

3. The GOP can win in purple states.

Victories by Cory Gardner in CO and Joni Ernst in IA were expected in the final days of the campaign.  But their margin of victory was surprising, as was the showing by Republican candidates in two other purple states: New Hampshire and Virginia.  All four candidates ran excellent campaigns, stayed on message, and didn't get distracted by Democratic attacks.  Note to GOP 2016 hopefuls: are you paying attention?

4. Night of the Republican women.

Susana Martinez was re-elected governor of New Mexico.  Shelly Capito and Joni Ernst were elected to the Senate.  Mia Love became the first black GOP woman elected to Congress.  Up and down the ballot, Republican women were victorious.  Other races, like the Senate contest in Oregon, featured strong Republican female candidates who came up short.  The bottom line is that the Democrats' "war on women" meme aimed at Republicans was buried under an avalanche of votes for GOP female candidates.

5. Questions as to whether the Democrats can reassemble their winning coalition.

Millennials, minorities, and single women failed to turn out to vote for Democrats.  This isn't surprising in itself, since historically, these groups don't participate in large numbers in off-year elections.

But Democratic strategists have to be worried – especially about the votes of the young and women.  House exit polls showed the gender gap narrowing and a loss of enthusiasm for Democrats from Millennials.  Can Hillary Clinton put Humpty-Dumpty back together again?  On that, will the 2016 election hinge.