For all the excited headlines about the midterm elections in the US, it seems to me that the results are pretty much as expected. Republicans win the House; Democrats keep the Senate – gridlock beckons. It may be a terrible night for Obama, as Ed Luce and others argue, but it’s hardly an unexpected turn of events. Governing parties tend to do badly in elections held in the middle of an economic downturn - in America as elsewhere.
It is also striking that the things that would have made really big headlines, didn’t actually happen. So Harry Reid, the Democrats leader in the Senate, actually won his seat. The Democrats did not lose control of the Senate. The most outre Tea Party candidates – Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle – disappointed journalists everywhere by losing. In looking for an emblematic “bad moment for the Democrats”, the media were reduced to fastening onto the loss of Obama’s old Senate seat in Illinois – which somehow doesn’t quite cut it as “the moment of the night”. Read more