The presidential election aside, one of the striking outcomes of the 2020 General Election was the utter and complete failure of Democrats to make gains in either congress or the various state legislatures. After deploying vastly superior financial resources Democrats have to date failed to secure a U.S. Senate majority, lost at least 12 seats in congress, and failed to flip control of a single state legislative body.
Democrats enjoyed a target rich environment in their bid to gain control of the U.S. Senate. Despite the GOP having to defend twice as many seats, Democrats currently have a net gain of just one seat. Control of the chamber hinges on a January 5th run-off in Georgia which will determine who will win two seats currently held by GOP incumbents. Democrats need to win both to plunge the Senate into a 50-50 tie, with the majority being determined by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
The losses incurred by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives were historic. Not since 1892 has either party gained that many seats while losing the presidency. The narrow six-seat majority will be difficult for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to control given moderate Democrats are already at war with their far Left comrades, whom they blame for the party’s electoral losses.
In a bid to impact next year’s congressional redistricting process, a vast network of Left-wing groups were active in an effort to flip control of state legislatures pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into races across the nation. Control of not even one state legislative chamber flipped into Democrat hands, while two chambers actually flipped to the GOP.
The Republican electoral success is obvious, but less noticeable – and even more important – is the diversity of the GOP victors. Diversity is a term most often associated with the Left. That is because the Left is captive of identity politics believing such factors as gender or race are more important that say, actual qualifications or ability to do the job. That is why Joe Biden early on promised to put a woman on the ticket, and then selected a person of color even though her ability to actually serve competently in the position is questionable.
Republicans, however, prefer to promote candidates based on merit – their actual ability to do the job. Yet resulting from this focus on ability and qualifications the GOP has emerged as a party of true diversity. Gains in the U.S. House of Representatives resulted from the election of a record number of women.
Here in Pennsylvania the GOP elected a state Treasurer and Auditor General at the same time since 1956. Auditor General-elect Timothy Defoor is the first person of color from either party to be elected to a non-judicial statewide office. And a woman, Stacy Garrity is now state Treasurer-elect.
This follows an “off year” statewide judicial election cycle in which the GOP unexpectedly won a seat on the Superior Court with the election of Megan McCarthy King. One of two seats on the state Supreme Court is held by a woman, Justice Sallie Mundy.
The GOP’s empowerment of qualified women continued with the recent re-organization of state Senate leadership. The retirement of Senate President Pro-Tempore Joseph Scarnati resulted in the elevation of Majority Leader Jake Corman to the chamber’s top spot. Replacing Corman is state Senator Kim Ward of Westmoreland County who become the first woman to hold the top party leadership post in that chamber.
None of this was by design. There was no grand plan to promote women and minorities within the party. There was however an effort to provide a level playing field. All of the above were elected in competitive races and prevailed because they were both qualified, and succeeded in navigating their respective electoral processes.
There is an old saying that success breeds success. Women and minorities across the commonwealth, indeed across the nation, can look at what has transpired in 2020 and be encouraged to pursue their own ambitions.
And while they will not be helped up that ladder by artificial quotas or professions of woke diversity, they now have real life role models who have broken the barriers of race and gender, and they did so because they were the best person for the job.
(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal and American Radio Journal. His e-mail address is [email protected].)
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