Democrats won several important victories yesterday. From Mississippi to Maine, Ohio to Iowa, and Kentucky to Arizona, it was a good day to be Blue. (More)
Here are some of the highlights:
Mississippi voters reject “personhood amendment”
In Mississippi, voters rejected by a 57-43 margin a “personhood amendment” that would have declared life to begin at the moment of fertilization. As 60-80% of fertilized eggs do not implant and 25% of those that do are miscarried, the law could have targeted almost all sexually active women as criminals. It would also have banned the most common forms of birth control, and the most common in vitro fertilization practices.
Maine voters restore same day voter registration
Down Maine way, voters repealed a law passed this year that ended same-day voter registration. Republicans passed the law to “protect elections,” but there were no proven cases of vote fraud under the old law and Maine residents recognized it as yet another voter suppression tactic.
More Ohioans vote to repeal Kasich union-busting in 2011 than voted for Kasich in 2010
In an Ohio referendum widely regarded as a bellwether for progressive politics, over 2 million voters chose to repeal Gov. John Kasich’s union-busting Senate Bill 5. By comparison, fewer than 1.9 million voters chose Gov. Kasich in last year’s election. Unlike similar laws in Wisconsin and Michigan, the Ohio bill never took effect. A petition drive gathered over four times as many signatures as were needed to put a repeal measure on the ballot.
Democrat Steve Beshear easily reelected as Kentucky governor
In Kentucky, despite high unemployment, budget shortfalls, third-party attack ads, and Republican opponent David Williams’ religious smears, incumbent Governor Steve Beshear (D) cruised to a 20-point victory.
Mathis victory preserves Democratic control of Iowa state senate
In Iowa, Democrat Liz Mathis handily defeated Republican Cindy Golding, by a 56-44 margin, to win the state senate seat vacated when Swati Dandekar accepted Gov. Terry Branstad’s appointment to the Iowa Utilities Board. Democrats will retain a 26-24 advantage in the Iowa state senate.
Arizonans oust immigration bill author; Democrat wins Phoenix mayoral race
Arizona state senator Russell Pierce has been recalled. The author of the state’s draconian immigration law lost by a 53-45 margin to fellow Republican Jerry Lewis. Arizona congressman Paul Grijalva (D) said “With Sen. Russell Pearce’s defeat in this recall election, everyone who practices the politics of fear and division was put on notice,” and recall organizer Randy Parraz said he will now look toward unseating Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. And Phoenix voters chose Democrat Greg Stanton by a 56-44 margin as their new mayor. The most delightful election quote of the day comes from Phoenix resident Llian Hood, who mailed in her vote for Stanton earlier this week:
You know what, I don’t know anything about (Stanton). I just know he’s a Democrat.
Thank you, Mrs. Hood.
And thank you to all the Democratic activists who gathered petition signatures, knocked on doors, made telephone calls, and donated to candidates … and most of all to the voters who participated in your state and local governments. To those whose candidates won, well-earned congratulations. To those whose candidates lost, your efforts were not wasted.
This is what democracy looks like.