03 November 2010

Thoughts on the 2010 Election

Last night, I was fortunate enough to be able to get out to not one, but two election watching parties. The Democratic Party was at the Phoenix Wyndham hotel, and the Republican Party was across the street at the Hyatt. They were very different atmospheres.

As most people who read the blogosphere and news will now know, Republicans have retaken control of the House of Representatives with gains pushing 65 seats - a major upset. To compare, the Newt Gingrich-led Republican upset of 1994 (with the "Contract with America") resulted in a 54-seat gain for the GOP, and the 2006 Democratic landslides only resulted in a 31-seat gain for them. The 2010 elections represented the largest gain by one party over another since the 1938 elections in which the Democrats lost 81 seats to Republicans and minor parties in the wake of several New Deal policies.

In the Senate, the GOP gained a net of 6 seats to bring the Senate to 51 Democrats, 2 Independents, and 47 Republicans (I count Murkowski in AK as a Republican, and Democrat Patty Murray as a victor in WA in this assessment, though neither has yet been declared a winner as of this writing).

In Arizona, voters swept the state government for the Republicans, with every statewide office going red. Governor Jan Brewer, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Treasurer-elect Doug Ducey, Corporation Commissioners Brenda Burns and Gary Pierce, Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect John Huppenthal, and State Mine Inspector Joe Hart all won their elections by comfortable margins. As of this writing, Attorney General-elect Tom Horne has declared victory over Felicia Rotellini, though she has not yet conceded. The AP has called the race for Horne, but several thousand early ballots remain uncounted yet.

As for the propositions, for which my predictions garnered this blog a lot of viewers and comments, Prop. 106 (Healthcare) has passed, as has Prop. 107 (Affirmative Action). Props. 109, 110, 111, and 112 (Right to Hunt and Fish, Land Trusts, Lieutenant Governor, and Initiative Filing Deadlines) have all failed (though 110 and 112 are still very close, and could change). Prop. 113 on Secret Ballots has passed by a wide margin, but Prop. 203 (Medical Marijuana) looks likely to fail by a very slim margin, and both 301 and 302 (on revenue restructuring) have failed.

And thank you, City of Mesa voters! You have approved Prop. 420 to help build a new Cubs Spring Training complex! Yay!

Finally, in the State Legislature, if I've done my math correctly, and assuming there are no weird changes, Republicans should hold 40 seats in the House and 21 seats in the Senate, both of which are the 2/3 majorities commonly known as "supermajorities." Politically speaking, Republicans should have no problem passing almost any bill into law in this state now that they control the Governor's office and have supermajorities in both chambers of the Legislature.

As for the parties, I'll be putting up another post soon with my experiences on those, including a few pictures I took.

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