This is a rush transcript from "The Journal Editorial Report," November 8, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
PAUL GIGOT, HOST: Coming up next on the "Journal Editorial Report," Barack Obama's win, a historic night for the nation and a huge night for Democrats. But was it a mandate? If so, for what?
He has beaten McCain, now comes the hard part. Will president Obama be able to keep congressional Democrats in line?
Plus, the future of the GOP amid the Republican recriminations. We will look at ideas and leaders that could shape the conservative movement in the years ahead.
The "Journal Editorial Report" begins right now.
Welcome to the "Journal Editorial Report." I'm Paul Gigot.
With Tuesday's historic win by Barack Obama and big Democratic gains in both the House and the Senate, the voters have spoken. What exactly did they say? The 2008 election was a repudiation of Republican economic management, but my guest this week says it would be a mistake for Democrats to read too much into their mandate.
Democratic pollster Doug Schoen joins me.
Doug, good to have you hear.
DOUG SCHOEN, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: Thanks for having me.
GIGOT: Democrats have their biggest majorities now on Capital Hill since 1976 or 7, I think your argument is this is not a mandate for a sweeping Democratic agenda, why not?
SCHOEN: Certainly, not a left-wing Democratic agenda. There was a swing in the polls to the Democrats. But it wasn't ideological. The biggest gain Democrats made were among moderates and conservatives. And that says to me, people want change that goes slowly. Voters were divided on whether they wanted government to do more or less. And there's a strong bipartisan streak in the electorate that says let's get moving, let's get government going, let's bring people together and produce real results, domestically and internationally.
GIGOT: Would you agree that the No. 1 reason that Barack Obama won was the economy?
SCHOEN: Absolutely. I think that people judged George Bush's performance and that of his administration harshly. They felt the economic crisis is largely his fault, that the unemployment numbers, which we've seen today, steadily going up, reflect a weakening economy that could be in recession and held him accountable.
GIGOT: You wrote in the Journal, Obama and the Democrats seem to govern from the center and work for a bipartisan consensus? What does that mean tangibly in practice?
SCHOEN: First, it means we have a national sense of purpose. We have a set of goals internationally about how we are going to handle the hot wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What our common purpose is that we're going to fight global terror together. And that we're going to fashion a series of domestic initiatives on unemployment, economics stimulus, on helping beleaguered homeowners with mortgages in a way that all Americans can agree reflect gels that unite Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives to try to get America moving again.
GIGOT: Let's take the economic issue.
GIGOT: If you are going to get that consensus, you have to take a tax increase often table. You are not going to get Republicans to vote for a tax increase.
SCHOEN: I've argued for that and I've suggested that.