Republicans across the country are doing some soul searching as the party brand faces an almost existential question after a touch election -- what do Republicans stand for, and where to go from here?
In conservative suburbs like Chaska, many conservatives woke up wondering what the heck happened at the polls on Tuesday. Is it time to double-down on the conservative agenda, or does the GOP need to spend some time crafting a new message and adjusting their plans?
"Today is ground zero for Republicans. It's back to the drawing board," said Michael Brodkorb.
Brodkorb would know. He was the architect of the Republican takeover in the Legislature two years ago, and the two constitutional amendments on this year's ballot were supposed to be his encore -- but it backfired.
"From our perspective, this is what we believed was important," said outgoing House Speaker Kurt Zellers said, looking back over the decision to put the amendments on the ballot.
GOP strategists believed the issues would mobilize Republicans and get them to the polls.
"It simply didn't happen," Brodkorb told FOX 9 News.
Instead, Democrats channeled the energy into an exceptionally well-organized 'Vote No' campaign, which many believe made a difference in legislative races.
On Wednesday, now-outgoing House Speaker Kurt Zellers was still licking his wounds, blaming outside money for shifting the balance of power in the state solidly into Democratic hands; however, campaign finance reports show out-of-state groups spent $3.3 million on both Democratic and Republican campaigns.
Republicans leaders also believe a strong presidential showing for Barack Obama helped push the local DFL candidates ahead.