While a lot of folks are disappointed in last night’s most prominent election results, there are some silver linings:
- Colorado and Washington passed ballot initiatives legalizing possession and sale of small quantities of marijuana. This could be the thin end of the wedge that ultimately dooms the drug war, as the DEA won’t be able to prosecute everyone who engages in the marijuana business in those states. Also: citizens of Mexico rejoice.
- Michigan’s “Protect Our Jobs” initiative, which would have written union privileges into the state constitution, went down to defeat.
- California’s anti-science GMO labeling proposition was soundly defeated.
- Same-sex marriage was passed in Maryland and Maine. (Usual disclaimers about getting government out of the marriage licensing business altogether apply.)
- Several freedom-loving U.S. Reps were (re-)elected, including Thomas Massie in Kentucky and Justin Amash and Kerry Bentivolio in Michigan.
- In New Hampshire, Obama ran three points better than in the nation as a whole, no better than Kerry in 2004. Thus, NH’s march to the left really does seem to have halted in 2004.
- While Dems took the gubernatorial race and the executive council majority in New Hampshire, Republicans will keep the state senate, and the state house remains too close to call (I’ve seen differing judgments about the likely partisan majority). It looks as if GOP house reps ran slightly ahead of the top of the ticket, which is very difficult to do in this age of party-line voting. In addition, word on the street is that a dozen Free State Project participants won state house seats, the same as in 2010. It was a shame to see good, hard-working reps like Jenn Coffey and Tammy Simmons lose close races, but it was also good to see new blood come in and others return, like Democratic FSP’er Joel Winters. Also, hardcore anti-FSP statist Republican Lee Quandt was defeated. The bottom line is that NH will get a medical marijuana law in the next session and otherwise we should expect little change in policy (probably a slight spending increase and a repeal of the tobacco tax cut).
Also: it looks as if I won all three bets placed on my forecasts, for better or worse.