Was This The Most Progressive Set of Election Outcomes in American History?

Probably. We’ve had more progressive presidents and Congressional delegations, but has there ever been an election where the voters did more to push progressive outcomes via the ballot. The biggest aspect of this is the fact that the people rejected just about everything that conservatives stood for this year — their candidates, their manufactured “scandals,” their attempts at voter suppression, their issues, their media manipulation, their math, their very understanding of the way the world works. It’s always sketchy to draw a “message” from aggregate votes, but this list of progressive outcomes is unprecedented and seems to have really sent a message about what it is the American people want. Here’s a incomplete list of what happened:

-Democrats have won the national popular vote in every presidential election since 1988 excpet one; during that same time (unless I’m missing something) the combined vote of all U.S. senate seats has been more Democratic than Republican; the U.S. House despite the gerrymandering that gives Republicans the majority, is made up of a combined vote that also favors Democrats. The majority of American voters almost always prefers Democrats and it’s up to tricks in order for Republicans to be in power

-Regardless of whether or not you think that Obama is a progressive, he clearly ran on a progressive agenda. He championed increased regulation of Wall Street, defending Social Security and Medicare, immigration reform and the Dream Act, raising taxes on the wealthy, condeming income inequality for the working class, women’s rights, global warming, equal rights for the LGBT community

-Openly gay candidates had a very good night: Colorado elected openly gay men to both the speaker of the House and Senate presidency, the first time that has ever happened, Tammy Baldwin was elected to the senate, six openly gay House members were elected or re-elected, Florida elected its first two openly gay state legislators

-Six Republicans who minimized or made apologist comments about rape lost — Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Roger Rivard, Joe Walsh, Tom Smith, John Koster

-Pro-working family Maggie Hassan defeated tea party candidate Ovide Lamontagne for governor of New Hampshire

-Other extremist congressional candidates lost, such as Connie Mack, Mary Bono Mack, Adam Hasner, Allen West, David Rivera, Chip Craavack, George Allen, Denny Rehberg, Scott Brown, Linda McMahon, Tommy Thompson, Josh Mandel, Linda Lingle, Pete Hoekstra, Heather Wilson

-Californians defeated a $50 million campaign in support of Prop 32 that would’ve denied working families a voice

-Californians voted to raise $6 billion for education by requiring the state’s wealthiest residents to pay their fair share

-Michigan residents voted out the undemocratic emergency manager law that allowed unelected managers to fire local elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, eliminate services and even eliminate whole cities or school districts without any public input

-Minnesota defeated a voter suppression/identification initiative

-Alabama, Florida, Missouri, Montana and Wyoming voted down assaults on the Affordable Care Act

-Marriage equality measures won in Maine, Maryland and Washington, while Minnesota defeated an anti-gay marriage proposal

-Long Beach, Calif., required a living wage law for hotel workers, Albuquerque and San Jose raised their minimum wages

-Despite being outspent by nearly $200 million, Democrats picked up seats in the House

-Democrats gained new majorities in at least eight more legislative chambers, retained their majorities in eight other chambers that were targeted by the right and gained seats in at least 40 legislative chambers across the country

-Pro-environment, Ocean Champions-endorsed candidates won 41 of 43 races so far (with 3 outstanding)

-Michigan voters rejected a requirement for a supermajority to approve any tax increases

-Oregon rejected a cut to the estate tax

-Maryland voters passed a state-level version of the DREAM Act allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges

-Indiana defeated state school superintendent Tony Bennett, who has worked to increase emphasis on student test scores, blame teachers, implement state takeovers of struggling schools, and rapidly expand charter schools

-Idaho voters defeated the “Luna Laws” that imposed a mandate for online courses for high school graduates, made test scores the measure of teacher quality, provided bonuses for teachers whose students got higher scores, removed all teacher rights, eliminated anything resembling tenure or seniority, turned teachers into at-will employees, and squashed the teachers’ unions

-Florida rejected a constitutional amendment that would have removed the constitutional provision that prohibits the use of vouchers at religious schools

-Colorado and Montana voted against the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United

-Colorado and Washington state legalized marijuana for recreational use, while Massachusetts voters legalized medicinal marijuana; Detroit, Flint MI, Ypsilanti MI, Grand Rapids MI, Kalamazoo MI, Burlington VT all weakened marijuana criminalization laws

-The right-wing assault on Nate Silver and his vindication showed many Americans that science and math actually work, despite political considerations

-Right-wing anti-gay group attempts to vote out moderate or liberal judges in Florida and Iowa all failed

-Most of the Blue Dog candidates recruited by the DCCC’s Steve Israel lost, as did several Blue Dog incumbents

-All five candidates endorsed by the anti-teacher, pro-charter school, pro-standardized testing group Stand for Children lost in Colorado

-The youth vote remained steady at around 50%, providing enough of a margin for Obama to win in numerous states

-A wave of progressive candidates was elected or re-elected: Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, Alan Grayson, Joe Garcia, Sherrod Brown, Chris Murphy, Martin Heinrich, Mazie Hirono, Lois Frankel, Mark Takano, Alan Lowenthal, Rick Nolan, Carol Shea-Porter, Ann McLane Kuster, Sean Patrick Maloney,

-Obama became the first Democrat to win the Cuban-American vote in Florida since the Cuban Revolution, which, if it holds, makes it more and more difficult for Republicans to hold onto anything in Florida

-Powerhouse Daily Kos raised more than $3 million and won at least 14 races and 4 ballot initiatives they gave money to

-Despite media claims and Republican attempts to change things, the Jewish vote for Obama held steady

-The Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Linda McMahon and others spent hundreds of millions of dollars to buy elections only to come up largely empty-handed

-Puerto Ricans voted in favor of statehood for the first time

-At least 79 congressional candidates who signed Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge lost elections

-Florida defeated an anti-choice amendment

-Troy, Michigan, voters ousted a homophobic mayor

-Arizona defeated a measure that would’ve allowed the state to seize federal lands

-Florida, Missouri and Arizona rejected proposals that would’ve given right-wing governors or legislatures more power over judicial appointments

-We now have a record number of women in the senate

-we elected our first Asian American female senator

-We elected the first woman war veteran with disabilities to Congress

-New Hampshire became the first state to ever have an all-female congressional delegation

-Reports suggest that tea party members feel vindicated by the election and will push for more and more extreme candidates in future elections that will have little to no chance to defeat more progressive candidates

-Hawaii sent the first Buddhist to the U.S. Senate and the first Hindu to the U.S. House of Representatives

Similar Posts:

This entry was posted in 2012 Elections. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.