Joy and sorrow in Wisconsin after the election.

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Wisconsin totals from WisconsinVotes.org [WPR/WPT].

Google/AP map and election results

President Barack Obama was reelected as was projected by multiple number crunchers and most notably, by Nate Silver who had to endure a torrent of harassment for relying on the polls instead of repeating the media malarky, “too close to call”.

He won both the electoral college (303 to 206) and the popular vote: 50.3% to 48.1% at current count. Back in ’08, Obama won 52.9% of the vote to McCain’s 45.7%.

Obama vs McCain

Obama vs. Romney

Women, non-white voters, and young voters gave Obama the edge causing NPR to allow non-white political pundits to grace their airwaves for a few moments this morning. Gallup has a nice interactive display to show you numbers.

The pundits I heard on CBS last night enjoyed repeating “Republicans have some soul searching to do”. I’d like to add that our media has some soul searching to do too – if it does in fact have a “soul”. Nate Silver has set a higher standard. He wasn’t the only one, but he got the most razzing for it – which sort of paid off since 20% of all of the NYTimes web traffic on Monday was for Nate’s 538 blog.

Kudos to him for sticking to arithmetic and staying chilled out under heavy fire. Here’s a handy list of the major forecasters and where they thought the electoral college was going to wind up. We should all keep that for future reference.

One of the laziest observations I saw the CBS pundits volly last night: All this money spent and for what? We have a Dem. U.S. Senate, a GOP House, and a Dem President – which is what we had before. [I think it was Charles Grassley who said that]

As if that was absolutely nothing. As if the right wing hadn’t disgraced itself by talking about the Kenyan, muslim, socialist with a U.N. conspiracy for 4 years. As if Tammy Baldwin was never called a “communist”.

As stated by Ross Baker in Bloomberg,
“For the second Senate election in a row, “Republicans have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory” by nominating candidates who did “not appeal to a more moderate electorate”

The most notable non-appealing feature that reverberated through the halls of the internet and the minds of every American woman would be Akin’s talkin’ ’bout legitimate rape that shuts that whole pregnancy thing down.

He lost too. (Thank god.)

Here’s another powerful observation that was “bumpin” very loudly out of cars and through the streets of Madison last night according to my son.

TAMMY!!!
Tammy Baldwin won with a 5.6% margin against Tommy Thompson with 99.5% of wards reporting to become my state’s first female U.S. Senator and the nation’s first out gay U.S. Senator. The narrative us cheeseheads were tossing around not long ago was that the odds were simply against her because of Tommy Thompson’s name recognition. We were wrong and Tammy was right to forge ahead undaunted.

If you gave, if you volunteered, if you wrote, if you called, if you shared this blog’s posts on Tammy and Tommy I sincerely thank you for that. Tammy’s win puts a rare and powerful jolt of joy in my heart.

Here are the final words of Tammy Baldwin’s victory speech:

“I hope that when we wake up tomorrow morning we are ready to work, ready to fight for our middle class, ready to keep our promises to our seniors, ready to make sure that everyone has a fair shot, ready to make our country stronger, more prosperous, and more equal. Ready to do what Wisconsinites have done for generations: stand together and move forward. Thank you.”

Here’s a link to that quote on tumblr, in case you’d like to share them.

Wisconsin Legislature
“Okay, Wisconsin, time to sober up. Soon, the Wis Legislature gets back in session and back to its main business: Selling off Wisconsin to the owners of corporations.” – Bobby G. of facebook

The state legislature will once again be in GOP control and the state senate is 18 GOP to 15 Dem. Nobody ever projected a win in the Wisconsin State Assembly and few of us held out fervent hope for the senate. The best projected outcome, so the narrative went, was that we could get a 16-17 split and sometimes lure the lone GOP moderate Sen. Dale Schultz of Dodgeville to side with the Dems on key votes.

Many hopes were put on the race of Senator Jess King who unseated the philanderer and drunk Randy Hopper in a recall election back in 2011. Sadly, King lost to Gudex by only 590 votes.

It is possible that King will demand a recount.

This isn’t just about people vs. money. In 2008 when Obama won, the WI legislature went to full Dem control, clearly providing coattails to even local elections. As to why that could not happen this time, I see a few *possible* reasons:

*Local elections went back to the old boy network’s control from ’08 to ’12

*OFA wasn’t as careful to help out. I have it from a source that all corners of her local state senate district got help financial and technical from OFA in ’08 but NOT in ’12. And then there’s unprofessional and avoidable stuff. The biggest OFA office in my source’s district didn’t get all the candidates listed on its literature and volunteers were told to use their own cell phones to make calls.

*Natural recall drain. Admittedly, the unions are gutted in this state by the “reforms” compared to where they were in ’08 and many heavy duty volunteers are still tired and sitting it out after giving 110% in repeated recalls.

*The Tea Party owns a lot of local press and media in WI

What will happen now in Wisconsin probably is this: An advancement of even more punitive anti-woman policies. The rapacious harvest of frac sand from Wisconsin’s beautiful hills for oil and natural gas fracking will not be slowed. Activists fear that Right to Work (For Less) legislation will be brought up. The transition of money from public schools to private charter schools will continue and power over Wisconsin’s colleges and tech schools will continue to be handed to business friends of Scott Walker.

There are elections to come – for Wisconsin Supreme Court in the spring and of course the big kahuna – the gubernatorial race of 2014. Tom Barrett is right now being told he can run again. Let me be that contentious voice saying “NO, TOM. YOU’RE DONE.” We need a better candidate this go-around.

Local Wisconsin Bright Spot
The state assemblyman who became reknown for his “some girls rape easy” remark, Roger Rivard, lost his seat to a Dem Stephen Smith by 2 percentage points.

A Bit More
Same-Sex Marriage Gains Cheer Gay Rights Advocates
Good news in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota. Still waiting on results for Washington state.

Michele Bachmann kept her 6th District seat in the House by a 1% margin over Jim Graves. Dang it. Still stuck with Ms. Crazy Eyes.

On the brighter side, Elizabeth Warren won her U.S. Senate seat! At the moment AP shows she has a 2.2% margin win over Scott Brown with 95.2% reporting.

Dem. Jon Tester captured the Montana U.S. Senate seat in a tough battle that caused $40 million to be spent on only 1 million people in the red state. Pearl Jam delivered its only U.S. concert of the year in Missoula, Montana largely to help give Jon Tester the win.

Just a reference from 2008:

Democrats Take Control of Wisconsin Assembly
Nov. 5 2008

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  1 comment for “Joy and sorrow in Wisconsin after the election.

  1. Ingrid Buxton
    November 8, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    I dont like the “right to work” even with (for less) tacked on. We need a new sound bite that accurately describes what it is. Maybe “right to mooch”. There have to be better minds than mine out there that can come up with terminology.

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