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