It was a well-rounded rout, from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the Western Slope of Colorado. The map went red last night from the mountains of Idaho to the swamps of Louisiana, from New England to Las Vegas, from the Orlando burbs to the Dakota prairies. Freshman like Tom Perriello and committee chairman like Ike Skelton all fell to the same Republican wave.
I thought that the Big Ten would be Democrats' worst region, and they did indeed lose a massive 21 seats in the eight states that constitute that conference. But they also lost a net 15 seats in the eight states of SEC Country, and bled 20 in the 11 states that made up the old Confederacy.
In the West, where Democrats have made significant gains in recent years, Republicans flipped at least seven seats. And even in the Northeast, which has become as solidly blue as anywhere in America, Democrats lost the better part of a dozen. Across the nation, rural Democrats felt the most pain, and over half of the 52 Blue Dogs lost.
Republican governors won the executive mansions in the trifecta of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and reclaimed the governors office in the critical battlegrounds of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The GOP also captured the Pennsylvania and Wisconsin Senate races and even won in Illinois -- which has to sting for Obama.
Indeed, the braintrust at the White House must have a major headache this morning. Obama promised to scramble the electoral map in 2008, and he delivered, winning red states like Indiana, North Carolina, and Virginia, and even claiming one electoral vote in Nebraska.
But Republicans rolled in Indiana's bellwether Ohio River Valley last night, knocked off 28-year incumbent Rick Boucher in Virginia's historically Democratic coalfields, recaptured a battleground seat in Hampton Roads, stole a Democratically-gerrymandered seat in North Carolina's coastal plain, and even won North Carolina's state House for the first time since 1898.
Those three so-called "blue states" have to be considered "pink" at best. The White House may have to come to grips with the fact that it's looking at the old Bush/Kerry map as its blueprint for 2012.
This map from the New York Times shows the extent of the sweep:
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Patrick Ottenhoff has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. A former staff writer for National Journal Group and project manager at New Media Strategies, he now attends Georgetown's McDonough School of Business.