A Night Of Sweet Victories, A Few Disappointments, And Too-Close-To-Calls

Ken AshfordElection 2008Leave a Comment

I was watching several races last night.  On the whole, I'm pretty happy.

As for ballot initiatives (bellwethers of the social climate of the country), pro-choice folks had a nice night, but the gays got screwed.  Details on that below.

Other ballot initiatives of note:  The State of Washington voted in favor of doctor-assisted suicide, Michigan allowed the use of medical marijuana and (in a separate initiative) stem-cell research, and Arizona rejected a number of laws designed to make it harder to hire illegal immigrants.

So again, liberal viewpoints prevailed, except on gay issues.


Presidential – U.S.: Obama over McCain

Presidential – NC:  I predicted McCain would win this state.  And he still might (Obama leads McCain by only 112,000 votes, with all precincts counted, but then you've got provisional ballots and other issues, making it too close to call).  But win or lose, the fact that Obama made this red state become so much more blue, is enough to feel good.

Presidential – OH and FL:  Nice victories, but also by nice undisputable margins of 2% or more.

Senate – NC:  Hagan (D) trounces Dole (R) 53% to 44%.  Best rally cry was at Hagan headquarters last night: "Na-na-na-na Na-na-na-na Hey-Hagan, Goodbye!"

Senate – NH:  Jeanne Shaheen (D) overwhelms Sununu (R) 52% to 45%.  Another Dem pickup.

Senate – CO and NM:  Both states are Dem pickups in the Senate.  Udall (D) wins in both states.  That's right — both winners are named "Udall".  Yes, they're related (cousins), and one of them is the son of Mo Udall.

House – generally: Dems had a lead of 235-199 seats going into Election Day.  Dems have lost four of those (so far) but picked up 21 elsewhere (so far), for a net gain of 17 seats (so far).  Eleven seats are still up in the air, but it looks like Dems will end up with a lead of 251 seats to the GOP's 183.

Governor – NH:  My home state overwhelmingly re-elects Dem incumbent John Lynch (70-28%)

Governor – NC:  North Carolina gets its first women governor.  Bev Perdue (D) beats Patrick McCrory (R) 50% to 47%.

Human Life Begins At Conception – CO:  A pretty obvious attempt to restrict all abortions – by defining "human life" as beginning at contraception — gets soundly thumped in Colorado.  Had it won, then ALL abortions could be legally defined as "murder" and effectively outlawed.

Ban On All Abortions – SD:  No abortions except where health of mother at risk, or in cases where preganacy is due to rape or incest (BUT only during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy).  South Dakotans aborted this attempted ban in overwhlming numbers (55% to 45%)


Senate – GA:  It looked for a while like Democrat challenger Martin might defeat GOP incumbent Chambliss.  Sadly, it was not to be.  No Dem pickup here. [UPDATE:  Because neither candidate got over 50%, the race, under Georgia law, goes to a run-off.  Theoretically, Martin could still win]

House – NC 05:  My home district.  Republican incumbant Virginia Foxx beat Carter badly.

House – MN 06:  That bitch Michelle Bachmann, who recently suggested that there should be Senate investigations against Obama and others for being "anti-American" barely beat out her Democratic challenger, 46% to 44%

Unmarried (read: "gay") Couples And Adoption – AR:  Unmarried couples will not be allowed to adopt children in Arkansas.  This applies to both same-sex and opposite-sex couples (but this was not-so-subtly directed at gay couples, who can't marry in Arkansas). 

Bans On Gay Marriage – AZ, CA, and FL:  Florida and Arizona have now amended their Constitution to state that "marriage" is defined as between one man and one women.  California's Prop 8 still hasn't been officially called, but it looks close to losing.


Presidential – IN:  Even closer than NC, as I write this (Obama has 1,352,356 votes; McCain has 1,329,370 votes, with 99% of precincts reporting).  But win or lose, it's nice to see the state get a little bluer

Senate – AK:  Stevens (R-Convicted Felon) is maintaining a marginal lead of only 3,500 votes, with 99% precincts reporting.  Obviously, every senator in the Dem column makes the Obama agenda flow much easier.  If Stevens wins, he'll probably have to step down anyway.  And then there will be a runoff.

Senate – MN:  The tighest race by far.  With 100% of the votes counted, comedian Al Franken (D) trails Norm Coleman by less than 600 votes (out of 2.5 million cast).  There will probably be a recount; maybe even court fights.

Parental Notification Of Minor's Abortion – CA:  California constitutional amendment requiring physicians to notify parents of a pregnant minor at least 48 hours before providing an abortion.  It does NOT require parental consent for the abortion.  If minor fears parental abuse, then notification can be provided to another family member besides parents.  Exception to notification in case of medical emergencies.  An interesting, but probably unworkable amendment.  As of now, Californians are rejecting it — barely — 52% to 48%, but all precincts are not in.