Kim Severson, a former food writer for the paper, filed from Columbus, Ohio for the front of the paper's special post-election section: "More Resigned Than Angry, Voters Seek a Fix for the Economy ." While eschewing the easy liberal cliche of "angry voters," Severson provided some comfort food for liberals discussing the difference between the 2008 vote (celebration) and this one (malaise, nastiness).
And so it went Tuesday. In urban elementary schools, country churches and suburban recreational centers across the United States, worried voters talked of wanting to find the right mix of political leaders to lift the nation out of its economic crisis.
The mood at the polls was more about grim resignation than anger. Certainly, issues like immigration, war and education reform mattered to people, including Rafaela Suarez, who voted in East Los Angeles.
Unlike the 2008 election, when liberals celebrated the politics of hope and change to address the country's problems and some conservatives began to embrace what would become the Tea Party's brand of revolution, Tuesday's contests were underscored by a deep sense of malaise on all sides.
"Things just don't feel right in the country right now," said Damon Gillette, 44, a business owner in Denver.
Adding to the grim feel in many polling places was the realization that the most expensive midterm election in history - a record $3.8 billion was spent - brought what appeared to be a new low in civil discourse, voters said.
"These elections have been a freak show all over the country," said David Morgan, a retired Air Force officer, in Beckley, W.Va. His wife found the campaigns so distasteful that she refused to vote.
Many voters just pleaded for the bickering to stop.