The year 2010 was full of surprises, and not just the scope of the wave that swamped Democrats and carried Republicans into the House majority, a strong position in the Senate, a big majority in governorships and a record number of state legislative seats. Here are 9 things that surprised me:
1. Surprise: At least 10 senior House Democrats, each with 18 years' service, went down, including three committee chairs.
2. Surprise: The first Latina governor of America was elected, and she's a Republican (Susannah Martinez of New Mexico).
3. Surprise: In fact, the only Latino governors in the U.S. are all Republican (New Mexico, Nevada and Puerto Rico).
4. Surprise: Three of four candidates for whom the president campaigned in the last week were defeated.
5. Surprise: GOP wins Illinois Senate race and loses the governor's race after Republicans led for months in the polling on the statehouse and were essentially tied in the Senate race. Go figure.
6. Surprise: In the Ohio governor's race, Democrats do better in Cleveland than they need to and lose. In the Pennsylvania Senate race, Democrats do better in Philadelphia than they historically need to do and lose. In both instances, GOP does better in suburbs and rural parts of the state and in Ohio, better in Columbus and in Pennsylvania, better in Pittsburgh.
7. Surprise: Record number of gubernatorial three-way contests -- Maine, Rhode Island, Minnesota.
8. Surprise: It appears a write-in for the Senate succeeds, first time since Strom Thurmond won in 1954.
9. Surprise: The large number of minority candidates running under the GOP banner who win, including two congressmen, and in Texas, two African-American members of the Texas House and a record number of Hispanic GOP victories for the legislature and local office.
Karl Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush. He is a Fox Newscontributor and author of "Courage and Consequence" which is just out in paperback. (Threshold Editions, 2010).