Commentary: Hagan's gritty campaigning unseats Dole

This editorial appeared in The (Raleigh) News & Observer.

Of all the unlikely outcomes of Tuesday's elections, none would have been harder to predict just a few months ago than Kay Hagan's 350,000-vote victory over Elizabeth Dole. That amounted to eight percentage points - a blowout, but in retrospect not all that hard to account for.

It's consequential, too, for the new U.S. Senate that will greet President Barack Obama on Jan. 20. The makeup of that body, now more solidly Democratic but still short of a filibuster-proof majority, will likely shape Obama's policies as much as will his own policy preferences.

If that means a degree of compromise and a dose of bipartisanship, good. Obama, principled but pragmatic, should be able to craft policies that pass muster with at least a handful of Republicans.

Elizabeth Dole, however, will not have a chance to be among them.

To read the complete editorial, visit The News & Observer.