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Fox News’ Chris Stirewalt gives hometown crowd post-election predictions

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The political pundits in Washington, D.C. got a surprise when the status quo was withheld during the most recent election, according to Fox News Digital Politics Editor Chris Stirewalt.

Stirewalt, a Wheeling native, spoke Nov. 21 as part of the West Liberty University Economics Club, sponsored by BB&T.

"The expectation in Washington was that this would be a divisive election," Stirewalt said. "Barack Obama did everything he said he was going to do."

Stirewalt joked that the majority of the crowd was probably in attendance to see his father, but he hoped to give some insight as to what's next in the political realm.

Stirewalt said Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney was not fully backed by his party, so he did not have the automatic gains Obama had built in to his campaign.

But, Stirewalt said, the Republican Party did not have another candidate who would have done better than Romney in the most recent election.

As for the next presidential cycle, Stirewalt said the Democratic Party doesn't have any obvious successors or heirs to the office. And while the Republicans have many politicians to pick from, the next presidential candidate could come from anywhere.

"It's all about your personnel," Stirewalt said. "You take the people you have and then put something together."

Stirewalt said the fiscal cliff will be dealt with one way or another.

"They shoveled it out of the election and assumed a divisive election would break the deadlock," he said.

Stirewalt took several questions from the crowd, ranging from national concerns to the latest Mountain State political news.

"West Virginia is becoming a Republican state," he said. "It's not happening right away, but the parts of the state that are growing are Republican."

Stirewalt also pointed out that he spent his entire career in West Virginia journalism with at least one McGraw family member in office.

"Every election is a trust election," Stirewalt said.