Flip on the TV or the radio, or just read an op-ed or two, and you’ll see that’s the question the entire Republican Party is asking itself right now.
Well, below is a report prepared by my staff regarding just exactly what happened on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.
As I told you on Wednesday, our liberty movement stands ready to lead.
On a day where the Republican establishment was brutally rejected by voters – receiving even fewer votes than John McCain received in 2008 – those candidates who stood for liberty saw incredible success.
That’s the lesson from the 2012 elections. That’s the lesson for the future.
This is the movement that will finally restore free markets, sound money, constitutional principles, and respect for individual liberty in America.
See for yourself.
Date: November 10, 2012
To: John F. Tate
From: C4L Programs Department
Re: 2012 Election Results
An initial look at the 2012 elections might lead you to believe that pro-liberty candidates and causes suffered along with the Republican Party’s overall underperformance.
But looking more closely, the results show anything but.
Pro-liberty candidates – especially those who answered their Campaign for Liberty Candidate Surveys in 100% opposition to statist schemes - fared incredibly well.
The 113th Congress will have more pro-liberty Members of Congress than any in memory.
Campaign for Liberty state coordinators are reporting tremendous success, as well.
Reports are still coming in, but below is a brief overview of the current results.
The U.S. Senate was undoubtedly where the GOP overall took the biggest hit.
Nevertheless, the 113th Congress will feature a new liberty champion – Senator Ted Cruz of Texas – to join with Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and Mike Lee (R-UT).
Unlike his Republican Primary opponent, Ted Cruz answered his Candidate Survey 100% pro-liberty.
In the U.S. House, Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) won a tough reelection race with 53% of the vote.
But that was far from the only success for pro-liberty candidates.
Republican Kerry Bentivolio, also from Michigan, won with 51% of the vote.
Ted Yoho, in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, emerged victorious on Tuesday.
Former Congressman Steve Stockman, a Republican from Texas, also won his race handily, as did Thomas Massie of Kentucky.
And in Tennessee, Congressman John Duncan was reelected.
All of these candidates pledged support for our issues on their Campaign for Liberty Candidate Surveys.
Leading up to Election Day, C4L staff flooded the nation with hard-hitting mail and emails ensuring voters knew exactly where their candidates stood on the critical issues of the day.
The results are clear.
Politicians who stand for bigger, more intrusive government have an incredibly tough time at the polls when facing off against unabashedly pro-freedom candidates.
In areas where Campaign for Liberty state groups were active and mobilized – ensuring voters knew exactly where their candidates stood on liberty issues - the results from Tuesday were also astounding.
But even besides focusing on hotly contested races featuring 100% pro-liberty candidates versus statists, Campaign for Liberty state groups also had to deal with a rash of referendums.
The good news is, red light cameras were struck down in Texas, California, and Washington, while a myriad of tax increases nationwide were defeated.
Below is a brief overview of what happened in the states where C4L members were the most active.
In Arizona, Andy Biggs, who worked with C4L in the past on issues like banning red light cameras, will likely be the Arizona Senate President, and liberty activists are hopeful he'll continue working to limit government as he's promised.
State Representative Rick Gray – who answered his C4L survey 100% against the statists’ schemes – was reelected.
Furthermore, he was elected to the Majority Whip position the day after the election.
Proposition 204, a tax increase “for schools,” was soundly defeated by voters – 65%-35%.
In Colorado, C4L ally Chris Holbert was reelected to his seat in the 44th District. Fellow State Rep Randy Baumgardner was elected to the State Senate.
Joining them in the legislature will be newly elected representatives Lois Landgraf, Justin Everett, Stephen Humphrey. Owen Hill and Vicki Marble were elected to the State Senate.
Timothy Dukes, who answered his survey 100%, was elected to the General Assembly.
Republicans Charles Gregory, Jason Spencer, and Michael Caldwell won their elections for the Georgia State Legislature, and all three answered their survey 100% pro-liberty.
Iowa saw liberty allies Tom Shaw and Jason Schultz reelected; they will be joined by newly elected representatives Greg Heartsill and Jake Highfill.
In Louisiana, one of the worst Right to Keep and Bear Arms constitutional amendments in the country was replaced with stronger language.
While the Maine GOP lost control of both houses of the State Legislature, state Representatives Aaron Libby and Heather Sirocki, who answered their surveys 100%, won reelection.
Klint Kesto and Dan Lauwers, who answered their surveys 100%, won election to the state House. Tom McMillin, who has been a strong ally of MI C4L and was one of two incumbents to get an “A” on their legislative scorecard, won reelection to the state House.
In New Hampshire, where Republicans lost 120 House seats, State Senator Andy Sanborn was reelected. Though he faces a recount this week, the results appear highly likely to stand.
Sanborn pledged 100% opposition to the statists’ schemes on his C4L survey.
Ballot initiatives to raise sales, car, gas, and property taxes were shot down.
In one of the most incredible victories nationally for the liberty movement, Katrina Shealy – who was forced to petition her way onto the ballot after primary qualification rules were suddenly changed this past spring – defeated Republican Rules Committee Chairman Jake Knotts.
Using mail and email, South Carolina Campaign for Liberty made sure voters knew exactly where their candidates for office stood before the November 6 election.
With no state-level elections, the most important initiative was a referendum protecting the property rights of Virginians against eminent domain abuses, which passed with nearly 75% of the vote.
West Virginia reelected State Representatives Eric Householder, Ron Walters, Allen Evans, and Larry Krump. These liberty allies will be joined by Scott Cadle, Jim Butler, John Shott, Mike Folk, Danny Hamrick, Cindy Frich, and Randy Smith.
In the State Senate, reelected State Senator Clark Barnes will be joined by Mitch Carmichael and Chris Walters.
The message is out – but politicians are proving the last to “get it.”
Americans want a smaller, less intrusive government.
But with three million fewer Republican votes than in 2008, it appears not enough voters trusted establishment Republicans to give it to them.
Those votes likely would have handed the election to a truly pro-liberty candidate for president.
The liberty movement is rising.
Now liberty activists must stand ready to take the reins.