With Congress currently in a lame duck session, the reasons why people voted as they did last week are slowly becoming less foggy. Of the 77 million votes cast, it took only 41,000 in the two closest senatorial races to shift power in the Senate to Republicans. And according to a non-partisan poll sponsored by National Public Radio, there is only one man responsible for nationalizing the elections: George W. Bush.
When asked, poll participants believed the President's last push of campaigning had an integral influence on the races. Still, however, experts are at a loss to understand the mindset of the larger American electorate. Other major issues - such as waging war in Iraq and reviving the recessed economy - failed to inspire nationalization, leaving the voting public evenly split. But the 53 percent vote in support of the president's party goes against the recent trend of voting for independence at the Congressional level.
While senators in both political parties also attribute the Republican victory to Bush's campaigning in key states, the president has little mandate from voters. And that might not change until election exit polls are released and a greater understanding of American opinion is obtained.