Voters went to the polls Tuesday in a mood for change.
Now they are in a mood to pay close attention to see if they get what they voted for.
Ronald L. Colbert Sr., an Air Force veteran who voted Republican, isn't sure much will change, because what goes on behind the scenes tends to derail a politician's commitment and leads to compromise.
"If they were voted into office to make change, then let's see the change. Not, 'Well, I had to compromise on this, or I had to compromise on that,' " he said.
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"We're going to have to see in a year or two what kind of action was taken, or if any action was taken," Colbert said.
"If not, another election's coming up in 2012."
Not all voters — not even all Republican voters — were pleased about a Republican sweep of state offices.
"One party just tends to go off on a tangent and do whatever they want, and I don't think that's a good idea," said Diana Bell, a Wichita secretary and a Republican who also cast a Democratic vote.
A combination of national and local factors put voters in the mood to do what they did on Tuesday, said Bob Beatty, political science professor at Washburn University.
In any midterm election it's normal to vote against the party in power, the Democratic Party this time. It happened that five of the six statewide offices were held by Democrats.
In the past, Republican voters might have voted for some Democrats, as they did for Kathleen Sebelius and Paul Morrison, for example, Beatty said.
"But not this year," he said. "There may have been this idea that, 'Wow, the Democrats are so powerful that it's time to vote the straight ticket.' "
Republican candidates in Kansas effectively linked a national anti-Obama mood to state officeholders, Beatty said.
Derek Schmidt ran against Attorney General Steve Six largely for not joining other states in a lawsuit over the new health care law, a national issue.
"It looks as if some people might have gone into the booth and said, 'He's done a heck of a job as A.G., but I want to stop Obama's health care plan,' " Beattie said.
Nor did voters have any reason other than party affiliation to fire Democrat Dennis McKinney as state treasurer, he said.
"If nobody knew who you were, and you had the 'D', you were a goner," Beatty said.
As a result the state wound up with a Republican takeover of all state offices and a 92-33 advantage in the House, the party's largest since 1954.
Bell said she voted for Sam Brownback for governor because of his record in the U.S. Senate. As for other state officeholders who were Democrats, she didn't know much about them. She vowed to know more about other officeholders in the future.
"I think people need to look more deeply into the issues and into the people than just vote for the party," she said. "I am planning in the future to keep in better touch with people representing me."
John Erickson, a Wichita architect and entrepreneur, is a Republican who also voted for a couple of Democrats. He was encouraged by the sweep as a sign that voters will dump officeholders who aren't responsive to constituents.
Lack of responsiveness and candor from officeholders nationally and locally was the main thing on his mind when he voted, Erickson said.
"There's a tendency to see their constituents as somebody who wouldn't understand if they explained it to us," he said.
What he wants to see as the state and country proceed is the formation, and explanation, of any plan that will limit government, lower the federal deficit and improve the economy, Erickson said.
And he wants to ask this of the politicians:
"What are you going to do? Tell me what it is, explain it to me and tell me how I can help," he said.
Sean O'Brien, a Democrat and retired union man, said the Republican sweep wasn't good for the state.
"They need somebody in there to keep them honest and have some other ideas," he said.
O'Brien understood that Kansas was caught up in the national anti-Obama tide, which might have been different had Obama been able to turn the unemployment situation around even a little bit, he said.
He will hold Republicans accountable.
"Republicans will have to come up with something now. They made their mind up two years ago they were going to say no to everything, and they stuck with it. Obama had to do something so he did what he thought he had to do," O'Brien said.
Mary McMackin, 51, a counselor and teacher, said she voted for Democrats because the party has shown that it is willing to compromise and work toward solutions.
She was saddened by the results even though she was prepared for them. She knew about the historic trend of midterm elections going against whichever party occupies the White House.
But McMackin still wants to believe the state and nation can mend and unite.
"I don't need the polarization anymore. We've got big problems," she said.