Odds And Ends From The Election

♦ UPDATE: With 99% of the vote now in, President Obama has received 51% of the vote  and Romney 48%.

♦ To give you an idea what a liberal in Southwest Missouri is up against, while President Obama received just over 44% of the vote in Missouri, in the county where I live he received less than 26% of the vote. That’s not a typo. Mitt Romney received 72.5% of the Newton County, Missouri, vote. McCain had received 69.4% in 2008. Put area Democrats on your prayer list, if you have one.

♦ And also in my county, the locals endorsed Tea Party gynecology, as Todd Akin got almost 59% of the vote, and his pal, Ozark Billy Long, got just over 71%. Yes, it’s that bad.

♦ In my part of Petticoat Joplin, my state representative, Bill White, got all the votes, or so says the Secretary of State website. I, however, know that’s not true. My dog Fosters, a wonderful and wonderfully spoiled Miniature Dachshund, got three votes, all from his adoring family, who officially wrote his name in. Yes, we’d rather vote for a wiener dog than a right-wing Republican.

♦ In Jasper County, where the biggest part of Joplin sits, Barack Obama got only 28.3% of the vote (that explains the Joplin Globe’s endorsement of Romney). So much for the President’s two—count ’em: two—tornado-related visits here. Todd Akin got a lot of Jasper County love, too, taking almost 55% of the vote. (Akin received only 39.2% of the vote statewide. That’s how nutty the conservatism is in these parts.)

♦ Perhaps most disappointing, if you happen to be Governor Jay Nixon, was that in Jasper County he received just slightly more than 43% of the vote. That for a man who, since the tornado, practically lived here. I’d say there are a lot of ungrateful Joplinites, Jay. (He did do a little better than last time’s 39.4% and he did actually win again, this time in a statewide blowout.)

♦ Nationally, Obama got a stunning 11% of the vote among people who said (erroneously) they support the Tea Party (only 21% of the electorate, thank God).

♦ Only 5% of the electorate said that foreign policy was the most important issue facing the country and the President got 56% of their vote. That has to piss off folks at Fox, who spent weeks before the election trying to convince voters that foreign policy was the number one issue and that what happened in Benghazi proved Obama was a lying traitor.

♦ And only 15% of the electorate said that the deficit was the most important issue facing America, which has to piss off the Washington press corps, since it has been fixated on it beyond belief. By the way, Obama got 32% of the worried-about-the-deficit vote.

♦ Romney did clean house among that 14% of the electorate who sit around worrying about their tax rates. He got 66% of their vote even though Mittens never did budge on the secret tax return issue. (We can still assume there is some ugly stuff in those returns.)

♦ Folks who make $100,000 or more a year represented 28% of all voters and imagine this: Barack Obama managed to get 44% of them. Here in Missouri, those upper-income folks represented 20% of all voters and Obama could only get 38%.

♦ Interestingly, Missouri was one of the few polled states that gave Romney the edge among voters making between $30,000 and $50,000 (representing 21% of all voters nationally and 24% of Missouri voters). The President only received 44% of them, while nationally winning that income group with 57%.  Obama had won 52% of their vote in 2008 in Missouri.

♦ Among those making under $30,000, Obama continued his dominance. Nationally, that income group represented 20% of the electorate and he won 63%. In Missouri, those same folks represented 24% of the electorate and the President won 60%, just slightly less than 2008. People without much dough still count on Democrats to defend their interests.

♦ In 2008, John McCain beat Obama by 35 points (67-32) in the “small cities” Missouri electorate (5% of all Missouri voters).  This time, though, Obama won 39% of that vote and Romney beat him by “only” 19 points. Noteworthy is that in 2004, George W. Bush managed to whip John Kerry by 50 points (75-25) in that demographic. So, things are looking up for Dems in the small town vote.

♦ By the way, Obama enjoyed an advantage in “big cities” similar to the Republican advantage in small ones. The President took 69% of the big city vote. The problem for Republicans is that the big city vote represents 11% of the overall vote and small cities represent only 8% nationally.

♦ I was very interested in how much support white evangelical voters would give Romney, the Mormon cultist. These born-again folks represented 26% of the electorate (which ought to scare us all) and Mittens got 78% of their vote, which is 4 points more support than McCain received in 2008. That officially removes Mormonism from cult status, as far as I’m concerned. Mormons are now Christians!

♦ Just to show you that a lot of people who self-identify as liberal or conservative don’t have a clue what those terms mean, in this election 25% of voters said they were liberal. Of those, 11% voted for Romney! Likewise, 35% of voters claimed they were conservative and a whopping 17% of them voted for Obama! Come on, people. In the future, just do what most voters do and identify yourself as a “moderate” (41% did and Obama got 56% of them).

♦ And more weirdness related to what voters tell pollsters: 49% of voters claimed that ObamaCare should be repealed (versus 44% who don’t), but O got 15% of their vote! Not quite as weird is that 83% of those opposed to ObamaCare actually voted for its self-admitted and proud grandfather, Mittens!

♦ More weirdness: Romney got 17% of the vote among people who think the “government should do more.”  Maybe they knew something we didn’t. Or maybe they were Republican fat cats who expected a return on their investment.

♦ Even more weirdness: 53% of the 2012 electorate still correctly blame Republican George W. Bush for our “current economic problems.” Romney got 12% of their vote!

♦ Still more weirdness: 55% of the electorate correctly believe our economic system “favors the wealthy.” So, why did 26% of them vote for the vulture capitalist?

♦ Yep, more weirdness: 51% of Missouri voters believe “abortion should be legal all or most of the time.” Yet, 19% of them voted for Todd Akin!

♦ In the weird-and-dumb category: 18% of all voters have someone in their household in a labor union. Romney, unbelievably, got 40% of their vote. Dammit, if there were only a way for those unionish voters to get what they deserve without harming the other union members.

♦ Romney got 73% of the illegal-immigrants-should-be-deported vote, which proves that his extreme rightward turn in the GOP primary was successful. The problem for him was that those deport ’em folks represented only 28% of the electorate. This is what brought Sean Hannity to his Republican death-bed conversion on the issue.

♦ Voters were asked, “Should same-sex marriages be legal in your state?” 49% said yes and 46% said no. Obama got 73% of the former and Romney 74% of the latter. But the times they are a changin’.

♦ Almost 70% of voters had their minds made up before September. Obama got 53% of their votes. Of those who waited until election day to decide (3%), O got 51%.  Of those who waited until they actually had the ballot in front of them on election day, who cares? Those folks need prayer, too, and lots of it.

♦ As far as political party ID, nationally more voters once again identified themselves as Democrats rather than Republicans (38% to 32%), which was only a slight drop from 2008 (39-32 in favor of Democrats). In Missouri, however, Democrats had only a two-point edge this time (37-35), significantly lower than in 2008 (40-34). As the country turns brown, Missouri is turning red.

♦ Although no exit polling was done in Missouri on this issue, something I found surprising was that 5% of the national electorate identified themselves as “Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual,” and 95% of the electorate did not. (For comparison, Asians represented 3% of the electorate.) Of those who claimed they were straight, Obama got 49 and Romney got 49. Wow, that means that the 76% of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals who gave Obama their support, made the crucial difference!  Take that all you homophobic Republicans! (And you know who you are.)

♦ Finally, a true-blue secularist, and a woman who reportedly is openly bisexual, is on her way to the U.S. House of Representatives, courtesy of, uh, Arizona. As I said, the times they are a changin’. Congratulations Kyrsten Sinema and the voters of Arizona’s 9th congressional district (south Phoenix, and parts of Scottsdale, Mesa, and Chandler).


Here’s What Happened On Tuesday Night

If you didn’t see Wednesday night’s episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, I suggest you go here and watch it. From start to finish, it was simply the best show she has done.

All of us who sympathize, to one degree or another, with what the Democratic Party stands for, need to sit back and take in all of what happened on Tuesday night. It really was remarkable.

And here is a rather remarkable accounting of it by Saint Rachel, an account we should savor all the way to the end:

We are not going to have a Supreme Court that will overturn Roe versus Wade.

There will be no more Antonin Scalias and Samuel Alitos added to this court.

We’re not going to repeal health reform.

Nobody is going to kill Medicare and make old people in this generation or any other generation fight it out on the open market to try to get themselves health insurance. We’re not going to do that.

We’re not going to give a 20% tax cut to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and kid’s insurance to cover the cost of that tax cut.

We’ll not make you clear it with your boss if you want to get birth control under the insurance plan that you’re on.

We are not going to redefine rape.

We are not going to amend the United States Constitution to stop gay people from getting married.

We are not going to double Guantanamo.

We are not eliminating the Department of Energy or the Department of Education or Housing at the federal level.

We are not going to spend $2 trillion on the military that the military does not want.

We are not scaling back on student loans, because the country’s new plan is that you should borrow money from your parents.

We are not vetoing the Dream Act.

We are not self-deporting.

We are not letting Detroit go bankrupt.

We are not starting a trade war with China on Inauguration Day in January.

We are not going to have, as a president, a man who once led a mob of friends to run down a scared, gay kid, to hold him down and forcibly cut his hair off with a pair of scissors, while that kid cried and screamed for help, and there was no apology, not ever.

We are not going to have a Secretary of State John Bolton.

We are not bringing Dick Cheney back.

We are not going to have a foreign policy shop stocked with architects of the Iraq War. We are not going to do it. We had the chance to do that if we wanted to do that, as a country, and we said no, last night, loudly…

The Democratic senator who was supposed to be the most endangered incumbent in the country not only won, she won by 16 points.

Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who was so stuffed with hedge funds money that he burped credit default swaps, Scott Brown lost by a lot to the nation’s foremost authority on the economic rights of the middle class.

After marriage rights for same-sex couples were voted down in state after state after state for years, more than 30 times in a row, this year, all change. In Maine, they voted on marriage equality and they voted for it. In Maryland, they voted on marriage equality and they voted for it. In Minnesota, they were asked to vote against marriage equality, and Minnesota refused to ban it. In Washington state, the vote is not called yet. They are still counting the vote and we will be watching closely, but if you are on the pro-gay rights side in Washington state, it should be noted that it is looking pretty good.

In Iowa, anti-gay activists were sure that they were going to turf out a judge for ruling in favor of marriage equality. They had done it before, to a bunch of other judges. They had been successful every time they had tried before. But not this one, not this time. Judge Wiggins in Iowa keeps his seat.

Nevada elects its first African-American congressman this year.

America gets our first openly gay United States Senator.

America gets our first-ever Asian-American woman senator from Hawaii. Her seat in the House, I should note, gets filled by…a Democratic Iraq War veteran. I’m going to tell you right now that her name is Tulsi Gabbard, because she is on the fast track to being very famous some day. Tulsi Gabbard.

Speaking of Iraq War veterans, Tammy Duckworth, veteran helicopter pilot who lost both her legs in Iraq, she is going to Congress, and she is sending home the opponent who mocked her for her war record, Joe Walsh.

California relaxed its three-strikes-you’re-out law and rejected a law to cripple the political power of unions.

Decriminalization of marijuana was approved in Washington and in Colorado.

The astonishing tide of dark money spent against Democratic Senators Jon Tester in Montana and Sherrod Brown in Ohio turned out to be pointless. Both those Democratic senators won. They held on to their seats.

Democrats won a Senate seat in North Dakota, of all places, a seat that nobody thought they could win.

All of these states that had this hugely aggressive, total Republican takeover from the 2010 elections—Ohio and Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania and Virginia and Florida—all of those states that went so red in state government in these past couple of years and that then had these big fights inside their states over how Republicans were governing there, in Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia— and we will see about Florida— last night not only did Republicans lose the presidential election in every single one of those states, Republicans lost the Senate race in every single one of those states too: Sherwood Brown, Tammy Baldwin, Debbie Stabenow, Bob Casey, Tim Kaine, Bill Nelson. Depending on Florida, a Democratic sweep of the presidency, and definitely a Democratic sweep of the Senate races in those states that the GOP was so excited to have supposedly turned red in a way that was going to stick.

Last night, Democratic women swept every major office in New Hampshire.

Last night, California Democrats won a Democratic super-majority in the state house and in the state senate. Not just majorities in California, but super majorities. Wherein, if the Republicans don’t turn up, any of them, any day, at work, nothing will be different in California  They’re completely legislatively irrelevant.

Allen West lost his seat.

More women got elected to the U.S. Senate than at any time in U.S. history.

The Republican presidential nominee and vice presidential nominee both lost their home states.

Missouri and Montana and West Virginia chose democratic governors.

West Virginia chose its first gay state legislator. So did North Dakota. West Virginia and North Dakota? Yes, seriously.

Joe Lieberman’s old seat went to a real Democrat in Connecticut.

The proportion of young people voting compared to 2008, it went up. Same with African-Americans, up from 2008. Same with Latinos, up from 2008. Not down, up.

If you are a liberal or if you are rooting for the Democrats, last night was a very, very, very big night.

And, oh, yeah, this happened: President Barack Obama, yes, will go down in history as our nation’s first African-American president. But he will also go down in history as the most successful Democratic presidential candidate since FDR. President Bill Clinton got re-elected too, I know, but only Barack Obama got re-elected with not just big electoral college margins, but also with majority wins in the popular vote, twice.


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