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tedd's avatar

Election 2012 recap, what do you think of the results?

Asked by tedd (14018 points ) November 7th, 2012

Quite a flurry of results last night, and not only the presidential race. I’d love to get some opinions on several results from last night;

1) After 32 failed attempts to get gay marriage approved by a state wide electorate (all states that have legal gay marriage did so via court systems or legislative bills),two states approved allowing gay marriage last night. Voters in Maine and Maryland passed the bills (in Maryland this was just an approval of an earlier legislative bill).

Voters in Minnesota meanwhile, rejected a bill that would’ve added their existing ban on gay marriage to the state constitution (making it much harder to repeal later). Also the first openly gay senator was elected last night, Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin.

2) The states of Washington and Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational (not just medicinal) use. A similar bill failed in Oregon, while Massachusetts passed a regular medical marijuana bill. It remains to be seen how the Fed will react, they could attempt to take it to court as they have the medicinal bills passed in various states, and there is a lot of talk that it will end up all the way at the Supreme Court.

But Federal action has not stopped other states from allowing marijuana under their laws before, typically the states merely don’t interfere if the Fed’s come in and enforce the national laws. It is highly unlikely that the Fed would waste it’s time going after low level offenders (the guy with a few ounces in his car or one plant in his basement), which means when these laws go into effect.. if you’re found in possession of marijuana by a Sheriff’s deputy or city police officer in Colorado or Washington… it won’t be illegal and they will not punish you for it.

3) Despite what looked to be a promising chance to retake the senate last night, Republicans were unable to get to 51. This isn’t entirely surprising, for the last few months it seemed increasingly unlikely they would, what with the retirements of moderate-GOP senators in the northeast, and the astounding statements on rape/abortion from GOP candidates in Missouri and Indiana.

Going further than that though, Democrats actually expanded their lead in the senate. After pushing the Dems back to 53 seats (including 2 independents) in 2010, the Dems reclaimed 4 seats so far (again counting independents)... Close races are still being counted in Montana and North Dakota (with the Dem currently ahead in both counts!). This means Dems will be back up to a minimum of 57 seats in the senate, and as many as 59!

Worth keeping an eye on some up and coming Dems, such as Kaine out of Virginia. The big one to watch I think is Warren out of Mass…. I’ll lay it on the line right now, if Hillary Clinton isn’t the first woman president of the US, Elizabeth Warren will be.

4) Republicans may have been trounced on the national stage, but on the local/statewide stages they continue to do well. Republicans will now have a minimum of 30 governors (two states are still counting ballots, that could put them up to 32). No word on how they did nationwide in local elections, but thanks to gerrymandering they did pretty well here in Ohio. Despite Obama winning the statewide election with slightly more than 50% of the vote, which you would assume translates to Dems winning around 50% of the House of Rep. seats… Thanks to gerrymandering Republicans will control 12 seats vs the Democrats holding just 4 (that’s a 75%-25% swing). Doing so well in local elections will surely pay dividends down the road if the Dem’s can’t head it off.

5) Most importantly, Obama won his second term in office. From the site I followed (fivethirtyeight.com) I never doubted he would (in fact 538 thus far hasn’t called a race incorrectly this year, every senate and statewide race called correctly). This raises tons of questions about what he’ll get done, and who will run from both parties in 4 years.

What do you guys think of all of these results?

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25 Answers

Qingu's avatar

I’m actually very happy.

We overperformed in the Senate. Akin and Mourdock losses should be a shot across the bow for the Tea Party—whether they take the hint or not, who knows.

I never expected Dems would win the House. But Grayson won, and the repulsive Allen West lost, which is awesome. The only thing I’m really pissed about is that Bachmann didn’t lose. It was so close.

tedd's avatar

@Qingu Bachmann came so painfully close to losing too. Oh well though. Frankly I think her days are numbered in the House, she’s too vitriolic and in too moderate of a district now. I also highly doubt she would have any success at a larger level than Rep. I doubt she’s elected to the senate in Minnesota or a statewide office.

tom_g's avatar

@tedd: “I’ll lay it on the line right now, if Hillary Clinton isn’t the first woman president of the US, Elizabeth Warren will be.”

I enthusiastically voted for Warren, and she was able to win here in Massachusetts. But I don’t see her as a potential candidate for president. She doesn’t speak or debate as well as people would like. And charisma and strong debate skills seem to be an important part of the equation.
I would easily vote for her, but I can’t see anyone outside of our little liberal Massachusetts bubble backing her. I could be wrong, however. I hope I am.

tedd's avatar

@tom_g I think she does alright in debate and public speaking. Her speech at the DNC was second only to Clinton’s in my book. Going further than that, I think she is the poster child of liberal-left ideas at the moment. I dunno that she’ll be running in 2016, but it wouldn’t shock me to see her in a VP slot by 2016.

jrpowell's avatar

I’m happy with the outcome. Probably more excited about Warren winning than Obama.

But my absolute favorite outcome is that Citizens United lost. Billions of wasted dollars by rich assholes. HAHAHAHA!!

wonderingwhy's avatar

I’m… satisfied. The good: the President & the Senate, The bad: the House, The ugly: how they’re going to get anything done.

I’d have liked to seen a better showing in House races for D’s, even if it didn’t lead to a split or majority, just to make the direction clear. We’re in a different boat now but riding the same ocean. Since Obama doesn’t have to worry about reelection hopefully he’ll take a harder line on calling out “failure” politicking and push further left if just to negotiate less center and more left & left-center legislation.

To your points:

1) the only shame here is it’s taking so long, perhaps with the election behind him Obama can lend more support to getting this over with.

2) much like point one; this should’ve been done long ago hopefully this will give some added push to groups seeking to advocate for legalization in other states and nationally.

3) now they need to show some solidarity and support clear pieces of legislation that solidify the base and demonstrate D leadership. A big win or two each year that garners a lot of headlines will go a long way to strengthening D’s for the next election.

4) this is somewhat concerning because how these governors enact and cooperate with D legislation tends to reflects less on them (at a national level) and more on the legislation and its backing party. However a handful of cornerstone pieces with easily understood benefits marketed well will likely force their hands and find greater local advocacy.

5) sort of addressed this in the opening but one additional thing three of the SCJ’s are 76+ (including Scalia whose replacement under Obama would be a coup) it seems likely that at least one of them will step down or die in the next four years, and now that Obama’s not looking for reelection it’s at least possible he’ll find more idealistic candidates to take any vacated seats. Beyond that his previous term didn’t impress me but at least, in many areas, he was moving in what I believe is the correct direction. I really do want to see him at least push to, and preferably, do more faster.

All in all it’s about as much as I’d could reasonably hope for and restores a tiny bit of faith that for now Americans may be looking, at least a little, beyond their own front doors. I imagine the rest of the world is breathing a little easier now too.

Qingu's avatar

My hope, probably misguided, is that a sufficient minority of House Republicans will see the writing on the wall, realize that America hates the Tea Party and blames them for obstructionism, that GOP demographics are shrinking and that they are doomed in 2016 if they don’t change course—and will actually start cooperating with Democrats to at least a small extent.

But then we are talking about the party that operates in bizarro-world, so who knows.

tedd's avatar

@Qingu Yah I’m very eager to see how the various factions of the Republican party respond to this defeat. Do they become more centrist? Do they do what they’ve done lately and swing even further to the right? Do they simply split the party in two? Could be very interesting. In two years I’ll be curious to see how the mid terms play out.

wonderingwhy's avatar

@Qingu Agreed. I’m not holding out a lot of hope for cooperation at least for the first year. After that if popular opinion is with the D’s I think some set of R’s will decide it’s better to take a hand in crafting legislation to meet the needs and ideals of their constituents and supporters than block anything that isn’t “republican legislation at all costs” and get nowhere. I suspect another two and four years of gridlock and stagnation, especially if it’s laid at the R’s feet, will begin to cost even moderate supporters and not just independents and leaners. Plus, if the economy beings to improve they’ll want to be able to point at, and take credit for, headline legislation.

tedd's avatar

Wow holy crap… I can’t believe I missed this (I may make a new thread for it)... Also lost in last nights hubbub… Puerto Rico approve a referendum to petition for statehood…..

http://news.yahoo.com/puerto-ricans-opt-statehood-referendum-134423786.html

Jussange's avatar

From watching your election and comparing it to history, I’d say that unless something drastic occurs, the “right” is going to die relatively soon and be reborn. Again.

Seek's avatar

Florida here!

Pretty happy about everything! Only three of eleven constitutional amendments passed, and I voted yes on two of them. The third one was bound to win: homestead tax exemption for spouses of military and first responders killed in the line of duty. I still don’t understand why the priority is to take care of widows and orphans instead of taking care of military while they’re still alive.

gailcalled's avatar

We had two very disappointing local losses. One a congresswoman and the other the Town Justice. The conservative forces are still strong here in rural central NYS. Sometimes being local, a member of the local church and volunteer firemen trumps experience.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Delighted about Obama, Tammy Baldwin, Elizabeth Warren, and the STFU to Richard Mourdock via the Donnelly win.

Upset about Prop 37 not passing in Cali. What the hell, Cali? You passed a prop about porns needing condoms, but not about labeling GMOs?

It sucks that Ryan is still a Congressman, however, Tammy’s win has taken all of the local & National coverage.

Fred931's avatar

Sorry I didn’t respond sooner, I just got off my plane at Seattle. ~

Also, it is quite obvious that Nate Silver is a witch.

Seek's avatar

^ Seriously. Can we say “tourism revenue”?

Fred931's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr And the top travel destination of 2013 is…..

Jussange's avatar

@SpatzieLover as my old friend King_Pariah pointed out to me when I asked him, Prop 37 forced many companies to label GMO’s but a select few are exempt. I agree with him that no company should be exempt so for now Prop 37 is shot down. Several have argued that some is better than none, but why put into law something that would promote the growth of monopolies.

Seek's avatar

^ This.

Not that I have an issue with GMOs ( I think the hype is overrated in the extreme ), but I have often downvoted an issue that I agree with in principal but I don’t think goes far enough. When you compromise on laws, it’s really hard to get what you wanted in the first place.

ucme's avatar

Inevitable.

muppetish's avatar

It goes without saying that I am bouncing off the walls with joy over Obama and the civil rights propositions, but I have to admit that I am mostly sighing in relief that Proposition 30 passed. Had it failed, my campus would have cut $12,000,000 from the budget, effective immediately. They were going to cancel winter quarter, which would have meant another year of school for me (which I just can’t afford.)

So, whew… dodged a bullet there :)

Seek's avatar

@muppetish Yay! I’m happy for you!

gailcalled's avatar

In our local elections, the guy running for Town Justice, who was a Dem., lost by 21 votes in a constituency of 1219 registered voters. It is a clear view of grassroots politics and how it works. His opponent, a nice guy and a native, but not nearly as qualified, had the support of the members of his church, the volunteer firemen, and similar organizations. He did almost no campaigning; the Dem. went overboard…fundraising, meet-and-greet, too many phone calls, too many mailings and placards.

muppetish's avatar

Apparently, there were two other historic events. First Buddhist Senator and first Hindu House Representative. Interesting.

augustlan's avatar

I’m beyond thrilled. The only thing that has me scratching my head is the fact that Bachmann is still here. WTF?

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