Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Recap

The Presidency

We won the big one. I'll analyze this more later but for now I'm thinking about the difference between Terry McAuliffe and Howard Dean and the difference between Ken Mehlman and Mike Duncan.

The Senate

Democrats didn't fare quite as well as some anticipated.

As expected, Democrats won in New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, and Virginia. Kay Hagen defeated Elizabeth Dole pretty handily in North Carolina, which is very nice to see after Dole's smear ads, my pick for worst of the whole cycle. In Louisiana, Mary Landrieu cleared John Kennedy's low hurdle, winning by the largest margin of her Senate career.

That's it though.

Gordon Smith is leading Jeff Merkely in Oregon by two percentage points with 25% of the precincts still uncounted. Merkely had surged in the polls over the last few weeks, so it is surprising to see that this seat may not flip. My personal opinion is that Democrats made a mistake in their primary. I was a Steve Novick supporter:




In Minnesota, a late-breaking funnel scheme scandal embroiling incumbent Republican Norm Coleman should have been enough to allow Al Franken to sneak by, but perhaps not. Franken is down by a few hundred votes and a recount is imminent.

Alaska just supplanted Oklahoma in my brain's official list of most ridiculously backward states in America because it appears they're poised to reelect convicted felon Ted Stevens to the Senate over Anchorage Mayor Marc Begich, who was a very solid challenger. Alaska also reelected Congressman Don Young, under investigation for bribery. New Orleans holds a special place in its landfills for Don Young, recall his empathy after Katrina. John McCain proposed "charitable pork" which called on lawmakers to forgo pet projects to help fund aid for Katrina victims. Young's response: "They can kiss my ear!" That was weeks after the storm, not years after our local leadership squandered national goodwill.

Bruce Lunsford fell tantalizingly short of his bid to knock off Mitch McConnell in Kentucky but Musgrove, Rice, Kleeb, and Noriega failed to break through in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas, respectively.

Democrats may have a chance to push in Georgia, which may or may not be headed to a runoff. Saxby Chambliss, who's not a good guy, is close to making it without one but votes are still being counted.

The House

Democrats picked up at least 17 seats but several races have not been called. Locally, foolish voters failed to reelect Don Cazayoux from the 6th District, who would have been a great asset for our state in a Democratic Congress. That's one of the bigger disappointments of the evening.

Other

Initiatives to allow medical marijuana in Michigan and to decriminalize it in Massachusetts passed by resounding margins larger than the proportion of citizens voting for Obama. I'd like to see us take this up at the Parish level. It's not scary, it's a political winner.

In what could be the low point of the election, California's proposition 8 to ban same-sex marriage is very close to passage. I'm hoping against hope.


Louisiana

This state is so far behind, it's really really behind. We emerged with some really stupid self-inflicted wounds in the House, I'm still shaking my head about Cazayoux in the 6th. That Jim Harlan couldn't crack 35% in the 1st Congressional district is depressing, though not entirely unexpected.

I'm surprised to see that New Orleans passed the master plan amendment. And happy.

Turnout in New Orleans was solid, close to 150,000 ballots were cast.

Congressman Jefferson is embarrassing and packs no clout. Hopefully he will be convicted and expelled so that we can try one more time to elect a credible representative.

We have a new District Attorney. I'm hopeful for stability in that office. We have to advocate for progressive reform of our criminal justice system.

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Overall, it's a good day today.

2 comments:

GentillyGirl said...

Medical MaryJane for Orleans? I'm game. Busted my tush for it in Cali and then helped set up the first distribution places.

E said...

I actually think the best way to bolster the local economy is straight-out legalization, but shh.