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Democrats Win House, Possibly Senate

Riding a wave of dissatisfaction with Republican congressional scandals, the conduct of the Iraq war, and President Bush, Democrats gained several more than the 15 seats needed to control the U.S. House of Representatives. With each party controlling 49 seats in the Senate, the remaining races in Montana and Virginia appear destined for recounts. Democrats also control a majority of the nation’s governorships for the first time in 12 years.
Notable ballot initiatives that passed were "definition of marriage" amendments in seven of eight states, an anti-affirmative action initiative in Michigan, and the stem-cell initiative in Missouri for which Michael J. Fox had campaigned. Voters in Arizona, the one state to reject the "definition of marriage" amendment, chose to make English the state’s official language and to limit benefits to illegal immigrants. Defeated ballot measures included a sweeping ban on abortions in South Dakota and attempts to legalize marijuana in three states.

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Looks like they dominated the polls yet again.

As for the GOP losses, they are totally the Democrats’ fault.

I hope the democrats are actually listening to their constituents instead of taking the wrong lesson from their gains. The war in Iraq was NOT the top issue, contrary to some of the blathering some of the Democrats have been spouting—it was corruption. According the the exit polls, 42% said their main concern was ethics and corruption, 40% terrorism, 39% the economy, 37% Iraq, 36% values, and 29% illegal immigration.

I hope they take a look at these priorities before they get too cocky about the war in Iraq and the effect on their election. Oh, and terrorism was ranked higher than Iraq…this is not an issue to laugh off, as one article points out that Nancy Pelosi did in a 2 Nov 06 article in the Washington Post entitled "Nancy Pelosi’s War Blunder".

As for the economy, I’m getting more and more nervous as I read some of the platforms of some of the new winners…"pro-labor" and stuff like that, like we were back in the 1980s before globalization. Maybe they should read "The World is Flat", because I don’t think they get it. Labor vs. management is dead. The tension is now between the consumer and labor with management stuck in the middle. Being "pro-labor" likely means you are just going to drive companies overseas to where there are fewer walls and more opportunities. The only way to be "pro-labor" these days is to have one hell of an education system, portable health care, and retraining to keep your work force competitive and able to adapt to the changing economy. You cannot enact protectionist policies or cushy welfare systems any more. As for the war in Iraq, that percentage reflected both those for and against against the context of the other stuff that was important to the voters.

Unfortunately, what did CNN focus on today with regards to the election? The opposition to the war in Iraq.

The one unique insight I offer on this election:
Look at the Pennsylvania Senate. In my mind this is where Democrats will take their cues in 2008 and beyond. Why? A socially conservative, pro-life Democrat crushed a powerful Republican incumbent (one can also easily argue the triumphant Joe Lieberman is another socially conservative Democrat, although he’s not pro-life).
The rest of them won because of Bush’s unpopularity, GOP corruption, and Iraq, IMHO. In general, Democrats’ appeal was that they weren’t Republicans more than any intrinsic qualities. Call me out if you think this is sour grapes, but I would argue that the Democrats didn’t win this so much as the GOP lost.
Look for the Democratic Party to get more socially conservative in the future so they can appeal to knuckle-dragging, anti-choice, homophobic religious zealots like me. It’s just a matter of time before Hillary gets "born again"— or at least changes her mind on abortion. She started softening her liberalism on abortion after the 2004 "moral values" exit polls, truth be known.
Give me McCain-Lieberman in 08 and I’ll be excited about voting. Or McCain-anybody, really.

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