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The GOP’s expanding infrastructure is deeper than this, though, because in 24 states — virtually half the country — Republicans control both the governorship and the state legislature.

All of this means that Republicans are building a significantly larger farm team from which future candidates will be groomed and made available for higher office. A growing number of governors means a deeper field of presidential aspirants. A broader army of state legislators means more experienced candidates for the House and Senate.

On Election Day, Republicans were clearly outmaneuvered by the Obama campaign, which focused its electoral strategy on a relatively small number of blue battleground states — a valuable lesson for any future GOP nominee.

Last week, House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio sent a stern warning to his party’s rank and file that Mr. Obama’s inaugural address convinced him that the president and the Democrats are plotting to “annihilate” the GOP in the 2013-14 election cycle.

“Given what we heard yesterday about the president’s vision for his second term, it’s pretty clear to me — should be clear to all of you — that he knows he can’t do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans,” Mr. Boehner told the Ripon Society on Jan. 22. “So we’re expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party … to just shove us onto the dustbin of history,” he said.

That’s not going to happen in this midterm election cycle because the GOP base remains quite strong, and its political structure at the state level is broader than it has been in many years.

“Democrats in 2014 will have to run as members of the party led by Barack Obama. That could be a hard sell in the 24 states and 228 congressional districts that he failed to carry in November,” writes veteran election analyst Michael Barone.

Nevertheless, Mr. Obama, freed from the constraints of having to seek the voters’ approval again, is betting Americans are ready for an unprecedented expansion of government, inserting itself into every nook and cranny of their lives.

“One thing is clear from the president’s speech: The era of liberalism is back,” says Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Indeed it is — big time. More controls over the right to own firearms, more regulations on businesses large and small, deeper cuts in the nation’s defense, and a line of trillion-dollar budget deficits as far as the eye can see.

Virtually every poll finds that voters believe government borrows too much, spends too much and wastes a lot of our hard-earned tax dollars. A majority of voters still say America is on the wrong track.

These issues aren’t going away. If anything, they will get worse, and Mr. Obama and his party will not be able to escape the blame.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.