Republicans Savor Big Gains Nationally
BY DAVID SINCLAIR
Republicans in Moore County and across the nation had a lot to celebrate Tuesday night as the party registered dramatic gains.
"I believe the people have given us a second chance," Bob Levy, chairman of the Moore County GOP, said during his party's victory celebration at Table on the Green in Pinehurst. "The voters have said they want less government and lower taxes. I believe the Republican Party will deliver on that."
The new Congress will listen to the people, Levy said.
"A conservative future is a good future," he added. "I am proud that Moore County has gone in favor of conservative judges. Overall, it is a good night for Moore County, the state and our nation."
For weeks, pollsters and political pundits had predicted big wins for Republicans across the country in the most expensive mid-term election in history. Based on unofficial returns, the Republican Party will regain control of the U.S. House, while Democrats appeared to retain a slim majority in the Senate as The Pilot went to press.
The returns nationally showed voters, overwhelmingly concerned about the economy, were strongly backing GOP candidates in congressional and governors' races. Democrats also scored big wins in some key races.
Late in the evening, The Associated Press reported that Republicans had gained control of the N.C. House and Senate for the first time in more than a century.
"We are extremely happy about this, especially for Sen. Harris Blake and Rep. Jamie Boles," a jubilant Levy said just before midnight. "They will now be in the majority. Their ability to be effective will jump immensely."
'Did Not Listen'
Jim Heim, chairman of the county's Democratic Party, said he was "disappointed, but not surprised" by the results.
"We've seen it coming for some time," he said as Democrats wrapped up their gathering at party headquarters in Carthage. "The Republican turnout was surprisingly high here. They turned out their voters."
Heim said he remained confident that Democrats would retain control of the U.S. Senate as well as the state legislature.
"We still have our president and the (U.S. Senate)," he said. "We will see if he (President Obama) can patch together a few Republicans who are willing to work with him and not obstruct."
Heim's GOP counterpart, Levy, said this election was very much a referendum on the first two years of the Obama administration. He said it is clear voters are unhappy with the economy, out-of-control spending and health care reform.
"A lot of this election has to do with a rejection of his policies," Levy said. "We need to repeal or replace health care reform and keep the Bush tax cuts in place. If you ask me what the biggest thing this administration did wrong, it was that it did not listen to the people. We are going to do that. The people have given us a chance to lead the country in a different direction."
Levy said the tea party definitely had an impact on the elections.
"The tea party had a positive influence," he said. "They helped reignite our base. They are Republicans, unaffiliated voters and conservative Democrats. Without them, we wouldn't have had the victories we have had today. They did a great job here in Moore County."
'They Are Angry'
Heim also acknowledged that the tea party movement had an effect.
"The tea party had a lot of folks out there," he said. "They are angry. They now have a few folks in office, but they don't have a plan. What are they going to do? I guess we'll find out tomorrow."
Heim said he believes there was a lot of misinformation that influenced voters. He said the Obama administration has done a lot of good things that were overshadowed in the bitterly contested elections.
"Obama has lowered taxes for 97 percent of Americans," he said. "He saved 16 million jobs. All of that is being ignored. Folks out there seemed to feel like nothing was being done in Washington. That is distressing to me. We are spinning our wheels. We need a good solid direction for this country. Hopefully, the Democrats can still move us ahead."
Contact David Sinclair at email@example.com.
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