More on Awesome Election Night ’11
Scott has already talked about some of the great stuff that happened last night. I want to build on that a bit here.
Scott discussed the failure of the Mississippi zygote amendment, demonstrating that at least for the time being, a majority of people in even our most conservative states are not totally insane.
The other big news of course was SB-5 in Ohio and I want to state just what a huge victory this is. In 2010, a motivated conservative base and an apathetic and dispirited Democratic Party created conditions that allowed John Kasich to defeat Ted Strickland for the governorship. Kasich received 1,889,180 votes for governor in 2010. SB-5 was rejected with 2,145,042 votes. I don’t know a single time in history when an off-year ballot measure had a higher voter turnout than an on-year gubernatorial election. Absolutely remarkable. Recent polls also show Obama crushing all Republican opponents in Ohio. This might not mean much now, but Ohio and Wisconsin have seen the Republican insanity up close and personal and have rejected it soundly.
Getting less attention but also very important is Wake County, North Carolina voting out the right-wingers who destroyed their integrated public education system. This is significant because of the evil influence of Koch-esque Art Pope had had over North Carolina politics since the Citizens United decision and shows that while you can buy elections, you can’t fool the people forever with money and dirty politics.
Even cities like Knoxville, Tennessee, one of America’s most conservative metropolises, voted in Madeline Rogero as mayor. Rogero is not only the first female mayor in the city’s history, but is the first non-right winger in my memory (I lived there for 3 years in the late 90s and was deeply involved in local politics and organizing).
Not to mention the successful recall of the loathsome Russell Pearce in Arizona, the restoration of voting rights in Maine, the reelection of Steve Beshear as governor of Kentucky, and several other positive races.
One can’t read too much into these elections, but they are obviously good signs for Democrats going into 2012. Moreover, it helps reinforce my belief that Occupy Wall Street and the Madison protests from earlier this year have gone a long ways toward changing the narrative of the nation.