The large news networks have called it for Obama. It’s over. As the presidential election is analyzed for the next few hours, there are other stories to focus on nationwide that show interesting shifts in the nation.
First of all, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill defeated Todd Akin in her race for re-election. Perhaps you remember Todd Akin from earlier in election season as the man who declared that the female body has ways to shut down a “legitimate rape.” Though many prominent Republicans pressured him to drop out after such an offensive and ignorant comment — one that revealed his deep-seated beliefs — he did not. In his concession speech tonight he claimed, “Washington doesn’t need more money; it needs more courage.” Thank goodness it is not the type of courage that aims to define what is and what is not “legitimate rape.” Good job, Claire McCaskill.
Elizabeth Warren won a Democratic Senate seat in Massachusetts, defeating the Republican Scott Brown who attracted so much attention in 2010. Winning this seat helped the Democrats maintain control of the U.S. Senate. She even got to borrow an early gaffe from Obama and use it in regard to her victory: “Let me be clear. I didn’t build that; you built that.”
Tammy Baldwin won a historic race tonight, becoming the first openly gay senator in U.S. history. Not only that, but she is also the first female senator to represent the state of Wisconsin.
Marriage equality is on the ballot in four states tonight. In Maine, voters decided to legalize marriage for same-gender couples. In Maryland, voters decided to maintain a state law passed earlier this year that recognizes marriage for same-gender couples. As of now, it looks like Washington will maintain a similar law passed by their state. In Minnesota, a “yes” vote would add a constitutional ban on same-gender marriage to the state constitution. That battle remains close.
In other news, Washington and Colorado passed marijuana legalization tonight. With this alongside marriage equality in Washington, I’m waiting for the exact date of the apocalypse from the religious right.
Because I’m from Arizona, I’m going to plug some homestate action. There is an interesting race in the 9th Congressional District between African-American Republican Vernon Parker and openly bisexual Democrat Kyrsten Sinema. As of now, the race is extremely close, and probably will be through the night. These candidates are so interesting, especially running against each other, because Arizona is a notably conservative state (one of those that Romney won tonight).
And finally, in news that is bad for the nation as a whole, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio won his sixth term in office tonight. He has been in office since 1993 and has been accused of a slew of human rights violations, largely due to his blatantly racist immigration enforcement policies. I hope that reasonable voices on immigration policy in my state win out regardless of this re-election. They do exist, and they will speak louder.
Meanwhile, Obama. That guy won.
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