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Progressive Wins in the 2018 Mid-Terms

Robert Franklin

Posted on November 7, 2018 11:15

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While we spent Tuesday night focused on who would represent where in what capacity, many progressive ballot initiatives won out in places that affirmed their support of conservative leaders.

The Democrats took control of the House of Representatives. Republicans strengthened their control of the Senate. Beto O'Rourke narrowly lost to Ted Cruz in Texas. Ron DeSantis and (potentially) Rick Scott won nail-biters in Florida. Medical marijuana was legalized in Utah.

Wait. What?

Often overlooked amid the chaos of major elections are the ballot initiatives that voters either support or condemn. In many ways, these better tell the story of who the electorate are and what they believe is good policy.

During the mid-terms last night, many ballot initiatives passed that Democrats have largely supported, even though the party's gains in the House are clouded by their losses in the Senate. People can be unlikeable. They have faces. They speak. Ballot initiatives are, however, merely words on paper.

When combined with assuming control of the House, Democrats made some serious gains in yesterday's mid-terms. Take, for example, what's occurred in Utah. Even though Mitt Romney -- the franchise quarterback of Mormonism in American politics -- secured Orrin Hatch's old Senate seat, a ballot initiative legalizing marijuana for medicinal use also passed in the state, despite objection to the specific ballot initiative by the LDS Church.

Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act also won in Utah last night, despite Utah being a reliably conservative state and views on the Affordable Care Act being almost invariably partisan. Idaho and Nebraska voters also embraced Medicaid expansion, which, when combined with Utah, means over 300,000 lower-income Americans now qualify for coverage under the ACA.

These are reliably conservative states espousing progressive policy.

Medical marijuana, a minimum wage increase, and campaign ethics reform passed in Missouri, but voters ousted Democrat Claire McCaskill from the Senate for conservative Republican Josh Hawley. Hawley, incidentally, opposed all three of these initiatives.

Arkansas voters even passed a minimum wage increase, but simultaneously re-elected Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has opposed such increases.

In Florida, where Rick Scott (likely) and Ron DeSantis took ahold of the a Senate seat and the governorship, respectively, voters passed a measure that restores voting rights to around 1.4 million felons. This is significant in Florida, where, prior to Tuesday night, some of the nation's strictest felony disenfranchisement laws were exercised.

It's important to point out that Democratic policies didn't bat 1.000 on the ballots nationwide. It was definitely not a sweep. Montana will drop its medicaid expansion program, for example. Voter ID laws passed in Arkansas and North Carolina, and while recreational marijuana use passed in Michigan, it was rejected in North Dakota.

But, generally, progress was made last night in places where it is needed. That's an important thing to remember. There may have not been a "blue wave," as many had hoped, but between the gains made in the House of Representatives and the ballot initiatives passed in areas where they would have been assumed to die, progressive ideas are indeed alive in a place where they sometimes don't appear to be.

Robert Franklin

Posted on November 7, 2018 11:15

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Source: FOX News

The Russian assault on our election system has prompted new measures to protect our vote for the mid-term elections.

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