10 Takeaways from Elections 2014

  1. President Obama told us this election was about his polices and he was right. The American people do not like ObamaCare, wishy-washy foreign policy, an escalating debt and excuses instead of leadership. The House remains in GOP control and the Senate goes GOP by seven seats. And they intend to repeal and replace the presidency in 2016.

2. Kay Hagan made the NC Senate race a referendum on the policies of the North Carolina General Assembly since 2010. I think she got her answer. North Carolinians want lower taxes, they want jobs instead of government dependency, fewer regulations and more opportunities and they recognize that every NC student deserves an excellent teacher in the classroom and they are willing to put their money where their mouths are.

3. If the NCGA was wondering if they should continue the momentum they started in 2010, I think they got their sign last night. The Senate GOP held on to all their seats and picked up one for a total of 34 out of 50. The House GOP lost 4 but picked up one for a total of 74 out of 120. The average NCGA loss for a governor’s party in their first mid-term election is 22 seats. The GOP had a net loss of 2 seats in the state legislature last night. Wow! Despite misleading and vicious attacks on their transformational policies over the last four years on education, tax, regulations, energy and health care policies, North Carolinians sent a clear message from across the state– keep it up.

4. Thank goodness no one bought the misleading relentless campaign claim that $500 Million was cut from education. One more time folks: $1B more spent since 2010, $200 more per student, w inflation and enrollment growth that’s a 3% increase. Not a decrease. Stop it now. And every NC teacher got a pay increase. If you’re not happy with your raise, send it back. There’s an excellent teacher in a classroom whose students are outperforming yours who deserves more.

5. North Carolina women are smart and capable and not easily fooled. As Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, appointed women to lead on issues like finance, commerce, education, banking and environment. Of the 36 committees in the North Carolina House of Representatives for the 2013-14 session, women (from both parties) chaired 10 and served as vice chairmen of 19. Someone understands that women are more than free contraceptives and unlimited access to abortion. That someone will be representing NC women in the US Senate.

6. Election law changes were intended to ensure the integrity of our elections. Rev Barber and the Moral Monday crowd claimed the changes were intended to suppress votes. The 2014 mid term election set records for voter participation. 2.7 million voters exercised their right to vote, early voting was up 20% and set new record highs for mid-term elections. Suppression?

7. Ten counties had a local sales tax increase on the ballot. Eight said no thanks. Anson and Ashe approved the tax hike. When asked, most taxpayers want transparency and accountability before ponying up more money. Tax increases are best determined by those who will be paying the bill. More referendums and fewer mandates are the way to go. Let the taxpayers decide.

8. We’re number 1 in spending for a US Senate race with over $111 Million spent. At least one state legislative race spent over $1 Million. Tillis was outspent by Hagan and still won and in many legislative races, the top spender was not the winner, What is the tipping point in effectiveness of dollars spent? What is the impact of social media on campaigns? Are we on big media overload? Can we get back to walking neighborhoods, knocking on doors and town halls?

9. Speaking of ads. Some things ought to be off limits. Tax evasion, double dealing and a candidate’s record are fair game. Someone’s children are not and seniors ought not be preyed upon. Leave them alone. Bullying and shaming tactics like sending mailers telling voters their neighbors will know if they voted are shameful. Seniors in particular are intimidated and fearful of such approaches. Stop it. And telling the truth in the ads would be helpful. It’s your duty and we’re not that stupid. We can look stuff up. I’m not suggesting we need more rules – just better manners, respect for others and common sense. We are Americans and our elections should reflect our values.

10. Don’t overlook the significance of the NC Supreme Court. Republican Mark Martin easily won the chief justice race and if the vote totals hold, Republicans will have a 4-3 majority on the court. With redistricting, opportunity scholarships, voter ID, coal ash clean up and numerous property rights issues likely to be decided by the Supreme Court, who sits on that court matters. The governor and General Assembly take on oath to uphold the state’s constitution and it is the court’s job to make sure they do. Activist judges are one of the greatest threats to freedom and liberty.

Becki Gray / Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Outreach

Becki Gray is Senior Vice President of the John Locke Foundation. She provides information, consultation, and publications to elected officials, government staff and other dec...