Wednesday, November 07, 2007

National Election Results

Elections were held yesterday in scattered jurisdictions across America.

Ernie Fletcher, the Republican governor of Kentucky, was defeated by Democrat Steve Beshear. Fletcher was hurt by the perception of scandal.

Haley Barbour, the Republican governor of Mississippi was easily reelected. Given that Republican Bobby Jindal won Louisiana's governorship two weeks ago, this means that there was a net of no change in partisan control of governorships.

Republicans lost a few seats in the Virginia House and Senate, Mississippi Senate, and New Jersey Senate. However, they gained a couple seats in the New Jersey House.

Ohio held a primary for a special election to fill the seat of the late Paul Gillmor. Bob Latta beat Club for Growth-endorsed Steve Buehrer and several others.

Democrats held big-city mayoral offices in Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. However, Republican Greg Ballard upset Democratic mayor of Indianapolis Bart Peterson. Republicans also picked up several seats to win a majority on the Indianapolis city council.

Ballot initiatives held some interesting results. New Jersey rejected a measure to spend money on the destruction of human embryos (stem cell research). This comes in a state where even many Republicans are not pro-life. This ought to destroy the myth that stem cell research is a winning issue popular with voters.

Oregon rejected a measure to fund health care for poor children with cigarette taxes. This is the same model used by the proposed expansion of the SCHIP program. This disproves the idea that such programs are inevitably popular with voters.

Washington passed a proposal requiring a two-thirds legislative majority to raise taxes.

Utah rejected a measure to create a statewide system of school vouchers. John Stossel offers some thoughts on the bill.

There were some small victories for immigration restriction, with Virginia county officials who passed a measure cracking down on illegals reelected. Immigration may have helped Republicans win some county offices in upstate New York, where voters reacted against governor Elliot Spitzer's plan to give drivers licences to illegals.

Overall, there wasn't much of a net change in 2007. But the results of ballot initiatives suggest that conservatism is more popular than the Republican Party.

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