So, that happened! Here's your rundown when it comes to the general election on 6 November 02012 -
- Democrats Win. Barack Obama is the winner of the Presidential contest, and has four more years and no need to think about a re-election campaign to implement the agenda he has in mind. Additionally, based on projections, the Democrats will have more than 50 seats in the United States Senate. (Not that it will stop filibuster abuse - watch to see whether Republicans dig their heels in even more when it comes to clogging the works.) The governorships up for election did not swing remarkably red, and so the Democrats can say they came out the victors.
Elizabeth Warren won. If the party will get behind her on financial issues and the regulations of Wall Street, they'll be pushing for some of the best ideas liberals can offer.
- ...with one exception. The House of Representatives is projected to stay in the control of the Republican Party. Which, if it follows the same form as the House of the last two years, will be basically an impediment and roadblock to the Democrats, more interested in symbolically trying to undo the work that has been done than in doing actual work, because they can gain more political capital and support from the base by getting in the way. This should be an impetus to form a new political party that will actually work.
- It's more than just okay to be Takei. Maine's Question One - Approved. Maryland's Question Six - Approved. Washington State's Referendum 74 - Approved. (Provisionally, anyway.) Minnesota's constitutional amendment - Rejected. (Although state law still makes marriage illegal between two consenting adults if their genitals aren't in the accepted pattern.)
And then - Tammy Baldwin is elected, to become the first openly gay person elected to the Senate. This year is the first time that initiatives or questions put to the voters result in victories for the marriage equality squads. It's no longer 0-for-34, plus there's an openly gay Senator. This is a great, great day in elections.
- Funny enough, if you openly claim to be against women's choice and rights, you lose. Examples one and two are Todd Akin and Richard Murdoch, who were both sent home without supper, and Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan, who are both on record as being against reproductive choice for women. But, basically, if you talked about outlawing abortions and didn't leave the common exceptions that used to be acceptable Republican orthodoxy, the voters punished you for that choice. I'll bet the gender gap analysis will be very fruitful. Although, it does then produce the possibility of candidates the next time around who will lie about their choice preference to get into office and then turn around and show their true colors. We'll have to keep an eye on that.
- Oh, hey, and speaking of women...
- First Asian-American woman in Senate. Maybe also first Buddhist in Senate?
- First time every state legislature has a woman somewhere in office.
- First time an entire party delegation to the House is majority female (even though minority party).
- Five states elect a woman to Senate for a full term for their first time.
- New Hampshire goes totally female. Two Senators, the governor, and all of the NH federal House delegation - all women. How awesome is that?
- More women in Congress in each house than ever!
- Hooray, weed! Two proposals to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession passed - Colorado and Washington both said "Aye!" Not that this will change any federal statutes or enforcement actions on that.
- No more anti-democratic dictatorships. Michigan voters rejected the emergency financial manager law that allowed the state to appoint a manager that had unilateral control over the entire operation of a city, including being able to dissolve contracts, suspend the power of the duly elected government, and sell city or town assets.
- Puerto Rico says they want to be state #51. A pair of referenda says that a majority of Puerto Ricans would like to change their nation's status, and they like statehood as the destination.
- Did California just criminalize getting assistance from a sex worker? With new penalties and classifications for human trafficking, it's possible that if a sex worker gives some of their earnings to help someone, they could be classed and prosecuted as a human trafficker.