Des Moines Register reports some local results with national significance:
Three Iowa Supreme Court justices lost their seats Tuesday in a historic upset fueled by their 2009 decision that allowed same-sex couples to marry.
Vote totals from 96 percent of Iowa’s 1,774 precincts showed Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit with less than the simple majority needed to stay on the bench.
Their removal marked the first time an Iowa Supreme Court justice has not been retained since 1962, when the merit selection and retention system for judges was adopted.
The decision is expected to echo to courts throughout the country, as conservative activists had hoped.
Byron York explains in the Washington Examiner that union money and gambling industry muscle allowed an extremely unpopular senator to survive a weak challenge.
Funded by millions of dollars from public-sector unions, Reid relentlessly attacked Angle from the moment she won the GOP nomination. Many of the earliest attacks went unanswered, forming impressions of Angle so negative that they outweighed the voters’ negative opinion of Reid.
And then there was Reid’s organizational strength. Both Reid and Angle held their election-night parties in Las Vegas casinos, Reid in the new Aria complex and Angle at the Venetian. That’s nothing out of the ordinary in Nevada, but the difference between them was that Reid was entirely at home, with the enormous financial power and organizing muscle of the gambling industry and its union allies in his corner, while Angle was relying on votes from people who live far from Las Vegas. Republicans across the country who were hoping for a miracle in this race discovered that raw power wins the day.
And bending the rules, too. On election day there were reports that casino giant Harrah’s had worked with the Reid campaign and the unions, particularly the Culinary Workers Union, to herd virtually all unionized employees to early voting stations to vote for Reid. According to a report in National Review Online, one Reid staffer told Harrah’s officials that he would do anything — for emphasis, he wrote it ANYTHING — to get those workers to the polls.
By mid-day Tuesday, the Nevada Republican Party had filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s office. “Employees’ votes were being tracked and supervisors were instructed by top management to personally confront employees to find out why they had not voted,” the complaint said. “Further, the evidence shows that Harrah’s management has continually communicated to employees their concern with electing Harry Reid and not just to ensure that the employees voted for the candidates of their choice.” Such conduct, the complaint argued, violates Nevada law.
The Republican capture of 60-70 House seats well exceeds the most optimistic pre-election forecasts.
It was disappointing to our best possible case hopes that we did not also take control of the Senate. Clearly, a number of weak Republican candidacies combined with democrat professional organization in ultra-blue states was too much to overcome… this time.
I really wish that we had knocked off Harry Reid and Barney Frank, and the California results are truly depressing. But, we did beat ultra-leftist Russ Feingold in Wisconsin. I am very happy to see Pat Toomey replacing Arlen Specter, and Marco Rubio’s victory in Florida is extremely significant. Rubio is articulate, charismatic and a hard-core conservative. The son of ultra-libertarian Ron Paul, named after Ayn Rand, is going to the Senate as well. Delightful.
A Genius commenter informed me that Rand Paul was not really named after Ayn Rand.
I looked it up, and found that he says his first name is really Randall, and his wife changed the short version from Randy to Rand.
Here’s Rand Paul explaining.
Quick, somebody name a kid after Ayn Rand, and we’ll elect him!
In the face of horrific consequences.
The Onion reports that Americans Bravely Go To Polls Despite Threat Of Electing Congress:
Despite the very real threat of electing the 112th Congress, millions of courageous Americans lined up at their polling places today and put their right to vote above the awful possibility of sending a politician to represent them in Washington.
The Gallup Poll election eve results resemble nothing ever seen in the modern era of political polling.
The final Gallup Poll before President Obama’s first midterm elections Tuesday indicates Republicans are poised to reap historic gains in the House of Representatives, possibly electing twice as many new members as they need to seize control of the chamber where financial legislation originates.
Gallup’s latest findings this morning predict Republicans will easily gain the necessary 39 seats to seize control of the House regardless of voter turnout. They predict a minimum GOP gain of 60 seats “with gains well beyond that possible.” That kind of rout would be the worst shellacking of a president’s party in a half-century.
At the New York Times, Nate Silver points out five reasons that Republican gains could turn out larger than previous polling has predicted.
Democrats Pat Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen are comparing Obama to Richard Nixon in his capacity for divisiveness and lack of respect for the office of the presidency.
President Obama’s post-partisan America has disappeared, replaced by the politics of polarization, resentment and division.
In a Univision interview on Monday, the president, who campaigned in 2008 by referring not to a “Red America” or a “Blue America” but a United States of America, urged Hispanic listeners to vote in this spirit: “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”
Recently, Obama suggested that if Republicans gain control of the House and/or Senate as forecast, he expects not reconciliation and unity but “hand-to-hand combat” on Capitol Hill.
What a change two years can bring. …
We write in sadness as traditional liberal Democrats who believe in inclusion. Like many Americans, we had hoped that Obama would maintain the spirit in which he campaigned. Instead, since taking office, he has pitted group against group for short-term political gain that is exacerbating the divisions in our country and weakening our national identity.The culture of attack politics and demonization risks compromising our ability to address our most important issues – and the stature of our nation’s highest office. …
The president is the leader of our society. That office is supposed to be a unifying force. When a president opts for polarization, it is not only bad politics, but it also diminishes the prestige of his office and damages our social consensus.
Moreover, the divisive rhetoric that Obama has pursued can embolden his supporters and critics to take more extreme actions, worsening the spiral.
Whatever the caliber of Obama’s tactics, they might achieve some short-term success. The Republican Party has offered no narrative or broad solution, and it has campaigned exclusively to take advantage of the negative environment. It contributes merely a promise of a more hostile environment after Tuesday.
With the country beset by economic and other problems, it is incendiary that the president is not offering a higher vision for the nation but has instead chosen a strategy of rank division. This is an attempt to distract from the perceived failures of his administration. On issue after issue this administration has acted in ways that are weakening the office of the president.
Read the whole thing.
When his own supporters say things like this about him while he is only halfway through his first term, the president’s prospects are looking grave indeed.
EugÃ¨ne Delacroix, La LibertÃ© guidant le peuple, 1830, Louvre.
27% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-four percent (44%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -17.
65% of Likely U.S. Voters say if they had the option next week, they would vote to get rid of the entire Congress and start all over again.
Even the pinks are disappointed by the Chosen One and seriously worried about their own employment prospects.
Hat tip to David Wagner.