Republicans continue to celebrate following the results of the Nov. 2 elections, as they should. The GOP made gains in the U.S. Senate, took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, regained a majority of gubernatorial seats and reached a level of control in state legislatures not seen since 1928.

In the U.S. Senate, Republicans posted a net gain of six seats ranging from the expected defeat of incumbent Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas, to the highly symbolic victory in the Illinois special election to capture President Barack Obama's former Senate seat, to what was highly unimaginable two years ago in defeating incumbent Russ Feingold in Wisconsin.

Other gains include Pennsylvania and Indiana - both of which were won by Obama in 2008 - and North Dakota. Democratic incumbents Barbara Boxer in California and Harry Reid in Nevada held their seats pointing in a part to a demographic deficit facing Republicans: persuading the Hispanic vote.

In the U.S. House, eight seats are still undecided (3 lean Democratic; five lean Republican) but it appears Republicans made a net gain of more than 64 seats surpassing the 1994 Republican Revolution (54 seat net gain) and forcing us to look back to the war weary election of 1948 to find a larger upset. A combination of conservative Tea Party energy and independents joining the GOP in droves gave Republicans the ability to fulfill their local and national campaign promise to fire House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Mississippi saw historic results with the victories of state Sen. Alan Nunnelee over Travis Childers, and of state Rep. Steven Palazzo over 21-year incumbent Gene Taylor.

The power of incumbency became a political liability to Childers and Taylor. In the last 60 years, the defeat of an incumbent congressman in Mississippi has been a rare anomaly. Two incumbents combined into one district in 2002 led to the defeat of Democrat Ronnie Shows by Republican Chip Pickering. In 1986, Democrat Mike Espy defeated Republican Webb Franklin in a redesigned Delta district. And in 1964, Republican Prentiss Walker rode Barry Goldwater's 87 percent presidential election win in Mississippi to defeated Democrat Arthur Winstead of Neshoba County.

Now we can count the 2010 Republican Wave in response to President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and healthcare as another moment in Mississippi political history.

As Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour led the national GOP to hold 12 and net six gubernatorial seats (depending on how you count Florida) to give Republicans a gubernatorial majority for the first time since 2006. The RGA targeted 10 2012 swing states spending $49.5 million and winning nine out of those ten races.

Republicans lost control of California, dampening some of the stats, but they are still worth repeating. In 2007, 53.7 percent of Americans had a Democratic governor; after these elections 55.4 percent will have a Republican governor. In 2007, states with Democratic governors had 295 Electoral College votes; after these elections 296 Electoral College votes are in states with Republican governors and when adjusted for reapportionment that number increases to 299 Electoral Votes.

Republicans picked up more than 680 state legislative seats - more than double the typical flip in a mid-term election - to give the GOP its greatest state legislative control since 1928. At least 19 (and perhaps as many as 23) Democratic held chambers flipped to the GOP meaning the GOP could control as many as 59 chambers with another one tied for control.

The Republican State Leadership Committee spent $30 million on races this cycle which included giving the GOP control of North Carolina and Alabama for the first time in more than a century. Nationally, the gubernatorial and state house gains are critical for Republicans to cement their gains through redistricting.

Mississippi Democrats have to be hoping they dodged the surge year and will escape in 2011 without dramatic change. Republicans will be working to make sure their momentum continues. Additionally, if redistricting fails during the 2011 legislative session, we could see back to back legislative races in 2011 and 2010 (as we did in 1991 and 1992) potentially placing Mississippi Democrats on the same ballot as President Barack Obama.

Nationally, Republicans won the votes of white working class voters by 29 points and broke the gender gap to carry female voters for the first time since 1980. While Republicans made large gains they have to recognize that this is the first wave election in which neither party was looked upon as favorable by the American people and 29 million people voted in 2008 who did not vote in 2010. So as Democrats just witnessed from 2008 until 2010, two years makes a world of difference in politics, and if the GOP wants to increase gains and take the White House in 2012, the fight has just begun.



Brian Perry is a partner in a public affairs firm. Contact him at reasonablyright@brianperry.ms.