“I do think you'll see some fairly significant changes in the House Republican leadership.”
He says Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) is likely to be challenged by Eric Cantor (Va.) and lose his post.
The same goes for Republican Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri, who led the GOP support for the hasty bailout of the financial services industry.
“They’ll be seen as failing, there will be a sense that they need to clean house,” says Brandon Arnold of the Cato Institute.
Democrats, however, may not be without casualties or even awkward situations.
In the critical battleground state of Pennsylvania, 17-term House veteran Jon Murtha, who found himself in a surprisingly tight race after calling some of his constituents “racist”, was projected by NBC News to keep his seat.
And Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who’ll be 91-years-old after the election, is resisting quiet calls to resign because of his age. At the same time, his likely successor, Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, says he won’t push him out of the chairmanship.
States in Focus
The economy may have been a big issue on a national level, but it's not a major factor on state ballots this year. "It's a light year," says Kim Reuben, public finance economist at the Urban Institute, who adds, most initiatives have little chance of passing in the current environment. “If people had known what was going on with the bond and stock markets some of these of these things wouldn’t have gotten on the ballot.”
In Massachusetts, voters rejected a measure that would have eliminated the state income tax over two years.
“The financial crisis may be giving rise to the idea that the economy is going down the tubes,” says the Cato Institute's Chris Edwards, which might “work against some of these proposals."
(Edwards and Reuben both rightly predicted the tax proposal would be defeated.)
Click here for the complete list of state ballot issues.
About a half-dozen states, had bond issues on their ballots, asking voters—and taxpayers—to finance any number of things.
Voters in California, as is often the case, faced a handful of ballot issues, including three bond-oriented ones.
The big-ticket item was $10-billion in funding for a high-speed rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles, a project with a $45-billion price tag. Voters supported the proposition by a healthy margin.
Another bond measure, calling for for $5 billion to cover various renewable energy, alternative fuel, energy efficiency and emission-reduction initiatives, was defeated.
“In economic hard times, these ballot issues tend to be defeated,” says Tom Schatz, president of Taxpayers Against Government Waste, which opposed the rail project for both practical reasons and its “pork potential.”
Analysts predicted the high-speed line proposal would be rejected but voters approved the proposition.
Maine and Nebraska also had proposals to sell bonds to pay for things such as highways. Maine's ballot eventually passed, although Nebraska's was rejected.
Energy and Environment
Alternative energy and the environment were two other popular issues on state ballots.