With the defeat of Republicans in the Presidential and Senate races last night, many pundits are wondering what is the next step for the GOP.

Christine Rushton, a student at Washington State University-Pullman, asks local Republicans about their post-election plan.

Cheers, sighs and hugs filled the Whitman County GOP Victory Office on Tuesday night as polls revealed a mix of wins and losses for Republicans in this year’s election.

President Barack Obama’s reelection underscored the tone among those in the crowd at the start of the night.

Dean Kinzer, a candidate for Whitman County Commissioner, said he is disappointed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lost the election.

“It’s simply because the race should have been about the economy,” Kinzer said. “A lot of people out there feel entitled and expect the government to care for them from birth to the grave.”

Many voters don’t realize the economy is such an important issue, he said. Looking forward, Kinzer said he hopes Obama will reduce the national debt, repeal Obamacare — which he said isn’t actually affordable — and focus on foreign policy.

Nicholas Baum, the vice-chair for the Whitman County Republican Party, said he also had hoped to see Romney repeal Obamacare and balance the budget.

“Our country has been going the wrong direction for the last four years,” Baum said. “We needed someone who has business experience to do something Obama hasn’t been able to do.”

Sharon Hall, the chair of the Whitman County Republican Central Committee, said she appreciated Romney’s ethics and values. She, like Baum, showed concern about how the country views what has happened in the last four years.

“Obama had all opportunities, and it’s not turning around,” Hall said. “Granted, there were past presidents who weren’t perfect, but it was time to step aside and allow someone else to come in and do something better.”

Kirsten Svendsen, the president of WSU’s College Republicans, said she supported Romney and felt he could have created more jobs than Obama can.

“Honestly, the loss was expected, but we definitely lost by a small margin,” Svendsen said in a phone interview with The Daily Evergreen. “Obama is in for another four years, and that’s fine.”

Former President Bill Clinton’s push for every American in the country to own a house led to a significant decline in the market later on, she said, but Obama failed to effectively solve the issues.

“I want to say that the whole thing of Obama inheriting Bush’s issues, it all actually came from Clinton,” Svendsen said. “There definitely were some things Bush spent a lot of money on, but if Romney were elected, he would have been able to fix it.”

Later in the evening, some of the results for Washington state filtered in, but most results will solidify as the state counts all ballots in the coming days.

The gubernatorial race between Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna is going to come down to the last few votes, Hall said.

When McKenna came to Pullman last week, Hall was impressed with his plan for education. McKenna’s ideas to improve the system and maintain funding education drew her attention.

“Our kids need to be able to compete,” Hall said. “The cuts that have to come are painful, and I worry that if we don’t fund education appropriately, we are going to lose our place in marketability.”

Baum, who also voted for McKenna, said Washington — typically a Democratic state — needs a change.

“We need to turn our economy around, focus on creating those jobs and creating a better environment for our kids and grandkids,” Baum said.

In response to Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ expected win, Hall said she’s thrilled. However, the results for U.S. Senate races showed that state Rep. Michael Baumgartner was not strong enough to oust incumbent U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.

At the end of the night, while cleaning up cups and cookies from the election party, Hall said she hopes the final vote for the presidential election reflects the closer competition she felt Romney brought against Obama.

“If you look at the popular vote, I feel it went Romney’s way,” she said. “If Obama is in for another four years, he’s in, and we tighten our belts and hang on for the ride.”