Mitch McConnell says we're "hungry for new leadership." And we "want a reason to be hopeful."
Whether or not the man who will likely be the next U.S. Senate majority leader is correct in his assessment, the impetus behind it is – the Republicans have taken over the Senate.
The Democrats began the day with a 55-45 majority in the chamber (including two independents). They've ended it in the minority, after Republicans flipped available seats Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and, as we noted much earlier in the evening, West Virginia. And there could be more: late returns from Alaska are expected to show a win for Dan Sullivan and Bill Cassidy is expected to win a Dec. 6 runoff against Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu.
We have new leadership, yes. It's not as clear that means we have a reason to be hopeful. The federal government has been stuck in neutral with a split between the houses on Capitol Hill; will a solidified Republican majority make any difference with a Democrat still entrenched in the White House? Can we count on progress when members of Mr. McConnell's own party won't pledge their support to the new majority?
With one third of voters who backed Republican candidates professing disappointment – or even anger – with the GOP, it may be that Mr. McConnell doesn't have much time to figure it out.