We survived another election day!

The last big election I followed intensely was in 1980, Reagan vs. Carter. I stayed up late with a group of friends, watching the returns into the early hours of the morning, cheering at every fleeting sign of hope and groaning at the stupidity of the electorate. I learned my lesson. Vote, then turn off the TV and the radio and wait for the official results, because cheerleading does nothing but drain your emotional resources dry.

We had a lesser election yesterday, but there were still issues that mattered in other states than my own, so I ignored the minutiae of the pointless news coverage and waited until today to find out if my cynical half was going to be grimly validated, or my optimistic half was going to see glimmerings of promise. I seem to be seeing good news today.

Here’s a newspaper summary:

  • Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) turned aside a challenge from Trump-backed state Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) relatively easily in a red state.
  • Ohio became the latest red-leaning state to vote in favor of abortion rights on the ballot — and by a large margin. It passed Issue 1, enshrining the right to abortion into the state constitution. The pro-abortion-rights position has now won on all seven state ballot measures since Roe v. Wade was overturned in mid-2022. Turnout was also strong in Ohio, suggesting this issue continues to animate voters.
  • Democrats not only avoided a potential GOP takeover of Senate in much-watched Virginia, but they actually flipped the state House, taking full control of the legislature.

Yeah, I’ll take it.

The most promising outcome from my perspective is that Republicans remain shackled to their regressive anti-woman views on reproductive rights, and it’s dragging them down. Those are ideas that only win them votes in radically religious districts, and we can only hope that electorate becomes less relevant, as they also seem to be distracted by the shiny baubles of MAGA and conspiracy theories. As Amanda Marcotte explains,

But Republicans aren’t quite powerful enough, yet, to ban abortion without ever having to answer to the voters over it. Ever since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, voters have repeatedly expressed their outrage at the polls. Not only do people turn out to back ballot initiatives to protect abortion rights, Democrats who run on the right to choose have been overperforming at the polls. It’s one reason some observers feel that, despite President Joe Biden’s poor poll numbers now, he has a good chance of winning in 2024.

In response, Republicans haven’t backed off their anti-choice views. Instead, the’ve tried to bamboozle the voters into thinking that Republicans aren’t as radical as they really are. Republicans have played word games, hoping that by rebranding with terms like “pro-baby” or bullying journalists into using the “limits” instead of “bans,” they could somehow trick people into not noticing their rights are being stripped.

Tuesday’s election showed voters are not fooled.

Overall, the election was a solid reminder that voters may be confused on issues from the economy to labor rights, but on one thing, they are quite clear: They do not like abortion bans. And they keep making that view known at the polls.

Don’t get cocky, though! The anti-woman, anti-equality bloc still exists, is still loud, and still gets absurdly over-funded by privileged billionaires. We have to keep fighting back against their nonsense, but these victories are encouraging.


  1. Hex says

    For once I’m really happy with the state I live in. Ohio also passed Issue 2, legalizing recreational marijuana by right around the same margins, tho am surprised that’s not mentioned at all in the linked article.

  2. says

    I gotta say it does kind of piss me off that Issue 2 got a few more “yes” votes than Issue 1. Like, some people got off their butts to vote for legal weed, but not to secure a basic human right while they were at it? WTF?!

  3. stuffin says

    “The most promising outcome from my perspective is that Republicans remain shackled to their regressive anti-woman views on reproductive rights, and it’s dragging them down.”

    We have to hope these intolerant and insular Republicans continue their White Christian Nationalist attack on Americans through the 2024 elections. Enough voters are seeing the damage to our freedoms caused by these anti-life Republicans, and we need this to carry us through the next big election.

  4. raven says

    Ohio became the latest red-leaning state to vote in favor of abortion rights on the ballot — and by a large margin. It passed Issue 1, enshrining the right to abortion into the state constitution.

    Vote like your life depends on it.
    Because it just might.

    It is not just sometimes a matter of maternal morbidity and mortality.
    It turns out that forced birthing and female slavery isn’t all that popular.

    Good for Ohio to vote for freedom.

  5. Scott Simmons says

    One encouraging note: the breakdowns I saw on the Ohio Issue 1 vote by age and gender showed that the measure was favored by both men and women, and by every age demographic other than the 65 and older group. I guess women’s reproductive rights are less important to people who are well past reproductive age. But we can look forward to even larger majorities in favor of measures like this as the old fogies continue to die off. (Signed, an old fogey.)

  6. raven says

    Exit poll results from Ohio Issue 1 ballot measure on abortion rights
    Washington Post

    Age was a major dividing line, with young voters overwhelmingly voting yes on Issue 1 while middle-aged and older voters were more divided. A 77 percent majority of voters under age 30 voted yes on Issue 1, along with 68 percent of voters ages 30 to 44. A slim 53 percent majority of voters ages 45 to 64 voted yes, while a similar share of those 65 and older voted against it.

    I took a look at the demographics of the pro freedom voters.

    It was high among women, nonwhites, and young people.
    Republicans, old married men, and white evangelicals voted against it.

    Hopefully, the young people vote tells us something about the future of the more and more extremist GOP.

  7. Dunc says

    Raging Bee, @ #3:

    I gotta say it does kind of piss me off that Issue 2 got a few more “yes” votes than Issue 1.

    That’ll probably be the so-called “libertarians”.

  8. wzrd1 says

    Yet another stolen election, stolen rightfully by the voters.
    Hence, the war on right and justice shall continue.
    Or something equally idiotic.

  9. VolcanoMan says

    I just want to add some caution to the good news of America’s elections yesterday. Republicans do not feel bound to the constraints of democracy; when democracy produces the results they want, they’ll take it, but as they fade into an obscure minority, shouting about government conspiracies involving pizza restaurants, and opining on the “Jewish question,” they become more, not less dangerous. Because they will do whatever it takes to win, and unfortunately, many of the Americans who are their ideological opponents feel so secure in their perception of their nation as the very best one, bound by ideals that are strong and robust, rather than almost impossibly-fragile, all it takes is one election, one time when people (for whatever reason) don’t feel like turning out and keeping their democracy alive, for them to remove the extremely limited power the people currently have. Such a scenario has basically happened already, and it’s only because of luck, and the incompetence of their leadership, that Americans still have a (flawed) democracy (though the theocrats captured the Supreme Court, likely for a couple of decades, and we still don’t know all of the repercussions that particular power play will have). But what happened in 2016 (and nearly again in 2020) seems to be the rule now, and not the exception. And I have my doubts that most American people are prepared to do what it will take, to make the necessary sacrifices, to get their democracy back should their vigilance fail.

    America never was the best – it is a flawed nation of flawed people, still with laws that codify inequity and inequality into the fabric of its society (and with a long and shameful history of far worse laws that leaves an ugly scar on the very landscape and its people). So voting is good and necessary, but it will take more than voting to defeat the Christofascists who currently run one of the two major political parties. Voting is the end result of a long process of community organizing and active relationship-building. When trust is at an all-time low, people must re-build it from the ground up.

  10. antigone10 says

    On a small note, Brandon Voges also lost his school council election in Minnetonka here in Minnesota. He was a nutbar.

  11. says

    That’ll probably be the so-called “libertarians”.

    That wouldn’t surprise me — legalizing (and, most importantly, deregulating and not taxing) weed was always more important to that lot than basic human rights.

    The underlying hypocrisy doesn’t surprise me either: libertarians pretended to oppose Roe vs. Wade on “states’ rights” grounds, but are they supporting the right to abortion when it’s taken up at the state level?

  12. Nemo says

    Vote, then turn off the TV and the radio and wait for the official results, because cheerleading does nothing but drain your emotional resources dry.

    I empathize, but one thing I’ve found is that — if I don’t closely watch the chyrons on election night, where they obsessively track even the smallest races — then it can otherwise take a really long time to get results for some of the more obscure, local races that I nevertheless still care about.

    And I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep anyway.

  13. wzrd1 says

    @ 12, Raging Bee, I typically abstain from considering weed, largely due to a rather severe allergy to its smoke.
    Increasingly anaphylactoid in nature. And minimal effect, before I experienced such issues.
    Unlike Bill Clinton, I did inhale. Didn’t do much, the most I ever got out of it was when it was dusted and well, that was rather unpleasant, but I remained functional and drunkenly functionalish.
    And turned me off to both intoxicants and hence, have a prejudice thrice over.
    Meanwhile, I’ve experienced the benefits of certain oils from the hemp plant for irritation and pain relief, noticed pain relief in smokers and general benefits and deleterious effects of abuse, rather in common with ethanol consumption, for which I’m infamous for amounts consumed and retaining liver function.

    Abortion, unfond of the medical procedure for a lifestyle choice, but I’m also not a designated approving authority for lifestyle choices and given my former occupation of counterterrorism, those self-appointed to such a thing already prejudice me greatly against them.
    And being fresh out of uteruses to choose the path of, well, not really my choice. Something about never being issued one and all. And the biological costs tend to be ignored even by PZ and pregnancy has a significant biological cost to a human female. Calcium loss alone is significant and injurious, but totality is a significant injury to overall health for a significant period.

    And well, at the end of the day, the GOP theory is pissing down one’s back, telling one that it’s raining, as the wealthy go without taxation and the poor pay more in taxation to support the wealthy and their power.
    An upside is, they can also be manipulated, via different channels than the masses.
    And for me, everything is a weapon, words the most devastating at times, when most inappropriately utilized.
    Learn all methods of violence, speech, concept and well, deeds last. A thermonuclear hand grenade is a concept that’s disruptive in the extreme, expressed via populism, using their own weapons against them.
    Or enjoy witnessing mass starvation and harm. Proclaiming helplessness, by being basically a paperweight.
    Because, reality land, a nuclear anything is rather massive.
    And human minds are in many ways quantum processing devices, not via quantum processes, but via neuromodulation processes that make binary computers the toys that they are.
    Meaning, you all are armed and able to fight idiocy and popularism, which is the opioid of the populace.
    And now, I’ll close, as I feel like shit. More allergic symptoms to nothing I can detect, more cardiac conduction issues I’m trying to sort out after tossing a cardiac monitor due to homeless shelter rules against electronic devices and dental issues that are major issues now, due to erosion due to GERD.
    That whole full disclosure thing and all.
    And my goal, leaving the world better for my grandchildren than I found it in. Me, born a week after Tsar Bomba.