The jury has come out with a verdict: these elections' defining issue was the economy by a whopping 60% - and two thirds of the voters rejected the stimulus plan. That this is a rejection of most of the political system as a whole can be inferred by the number of anti-establishment candidates that prevailed, most of them supported by the loose system of Tea Party organizations all over the nation.
These are, indeed, interesting times, when the seemingly populist fervor in most States is against, rather than in favor of, the government spending money. But the main slogan of the tea partiers, that it is time for people to reclaim their government, seems to have hit a soft spot for those, who have grown up with the value of meritocracy, those who hope to better their own life through their own efforts, their own risks. It seems, then, that these elections are not a triumph, by any means, of the G.O.P., but rather a repudiation of interventionist government policies, that are more closely associated with the Democratic Party. The results also defied conventional wisdom, in that the candidates who emerged from Republican primaries and were considered out of the mainstream (the mainstream being the TARP and stimulus package consensus) would not fare well in a general election.
It remains to be seen how these newly elected officials, supported by the Tea Party organizations, will do in Congress. That the more serious candidates, among those who had had the blessing of the Tea Party, won (like Rand Paul in Kentucky and Marco Rubio in Florida) is a good sign, that anti-establishment voters were selective in their choices.