election night 2012 Archives - Shopfloor

The Congress – A Strengthened Status Quo

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As election night moves on, it’s becoming clear that the division within the chambers of Congress will expand.

The results in for the Senate thus far indicate that the Democratic pickups in Indiana, Massachusetts and Maine put them on pace to break even or increase their hold on the Senate. From the outset, it was clear that in order for the Republicans to have a chance at gaining the majority, they needed to hold their endangered seats and garner victories with their challengers – a scenario that didn’t happen.

The House side seems to be a mirror image – it appears that the Republicans may gain seats, including the surprising victory of Andy Barr in Kentucky.

The path to victory for Governor Romney has significantly narrowed with his failure to break through in the longtime Democratic strongholds of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The future of both campaigns rests with what was the status quo a month ago – it comes down to Florida, Ohio and a handful of swing states.

At this point, for fans of the status quo, both in Congress and the electoral map, it’s been a good night.

Looking for Trends Among the Early Returns

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While only the most obvious of races and states have been called, some interesting subplots are beginning to develop.

A potential trend that has been largely drowned out by the Presidential campaign has been the anti-incumbent sentiment that we’ve seen over the past three election cycles.

In early returns, there are indications those feelings haven’t subsided. In Kentucky 06, Andy Barr is looking strong against Democrat incumbent Rep. Ben Chandler.

As I previously predicted, we may be looking at an extremely large class of freshmen in the 113th Congress. While it’s very early, is there a chance that Andy Barr may be an early member of that incoming group?

Another early trend that appears to have legs is the “War on Coal” effect. Counties in Pennsylvania and West Virginia are reflecting a determined effort by voters to beat back the candidates supportive of overregulation that threatens to put coal plants out of business and deprive the United States of a plentiful source of domestic energy. In a race that has seemed to be overwhelmingly national, this certainly is a prime example of subset economic issues driving local elections.

We are watching three coal counties in Virginia, and they are outperforming for Romney over previous election cycles.

Great Expectations – Election Night Version

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It is now, to paraphrase, all over but the counting.

As we head into what is expected to be a long night, I wanted to let you know that the NAM will be offering rapid reaction and analysis throughout the evening on key federal races.

Here are some quick hits and expectations at the outset of tonight, one of the most important elections of our lifetimes.

Regardless of what happens at the top of the ticket, I believe this election will bring with it the election of perhaps more than 70 freshman members of the House and Senate – offering at least the potential of breaking through the partisan logjam that has enveloped Washington in recent years.

A re-election of President Obama will almost certainly mean the Democrats retaining control of the Senate and Republicans staying on top in the House.

But a selection of Governor Romney as our new President could very well mean a swing in Senate control – depending on his margin of victory.

Both candidates for President spent a great deal of time talking about manufacturing, but the down-ticket House races represent an opportunity for manufacturing to really make their voices heard and it will be exciting to track these results as they unfold.

One thing is certain – in this campaign, the voice of manufacturing has been heard more clearly than ever.

Ned Monroe is senior vice president of external affairs, National Association of Manufacturers.