The Democrats' failure to light themselves on fire and squander their advantage in the polls has to count as one major surprise, but believe it or not there were even more compelling stories this year…
1. Dead candidates win elections in Florida and Alabama. It's not quite as consequential as John Ashcroft's defeat at the hands of Mel Carnahan's corpse, but Florida Democrat Earl K. Wood and Alabama Republican Charles Beasley both handily won their respective elections despite facing living opponents. "It is a touchy situation. When you are running against a dead man, you are limited as to what you can say," Walter Sansing, Beasley's opponent, lamented.
If nothing else, it's fodder for those Republicans who want to run Zombie Reagan in 2016. Like Sansing said, who is going to go negative against a dead man?
2. City Council candidate would have won had his wife voted. The race for one of Walton, Kentucky's city council seats stands at 669 to 669. It's too bad someone didn't make it the polls…
"She feels bad enough," McDonald said. "She worked extra hours, goes to school and we have three kids, so I don't blame her. She woke up about ten minutes before the polls closed and asked if she should run up, but I told her I didn't think one vote would matter."
3. House Republicans manage to look even more like House Republicans. They said it could not be done. They said House Republicans could never develop a bigger image problem than the one they already have. They were wrong. After this election, white men have gone up from comprising 86% of the House GOP to 88% of the House GOP. White Republican dudes, you have truly overcome.
4. Hank the Cat can haz over 6,000 votes. All votes for Hank the Cat must have been cast for write-ins, so a final count from the Virginia Board of Elections, but the Hank for Senate website reports that over 6,000 Virginia residents should probably never be allowed near a polling place again.
5. New Hampshire turns into Rush Limbaugh's worst nightmare. New Hampshire became the first state to have an all-female congressional delegation and a female governor. But, uh, can they have it all?
Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Alabama, Animals, Florida, Kentucky, Virginia