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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A tale of two elections (w/ VIDEO)

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Last night President Barack Obama was elected to a second term in the White House. The race was called much earlier than expected. When Romney finally conceded, Obama took to the stage and gave an acceptance speech that turned out to be the emotional Tour De Force we expected him to give at the DNC.

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Romney had to basically run the table in swing states like Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Virginia, but instead it was the president who did the sweeping. In fact, Obama successfully defended his 2008 map, only losing Indiana and North Carolina this time around. The only state left to call is Florida, where the president leads by about 50,000 votes.

Obama waged at times a subdued campaign full of lackluster moments, like his first debate performance, but he appeared on stage in Chicago full of energy and that familiar hope of his.

Democrats keep control of the U.S. Senate

A lesson learned from the 2012 campaign: If you're a Republican running for Senate and you're asked a question about rape or abortion, just say no comment.

Going into the election, Republicans had an opportunity to pick up several seats in the Senate, with Democrats largely playing defense. The two biggest opportunities were in Indiana and Missouri, but their party nominated neanderthals like Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. Akin claimed that women couldn't get pregnant from "legitimate rape" because their bodies could shut themselves down, and Mourdock said that a pregnancy resulting from rape was something that God intended to happen. Well, apparently God intended for Democrats to hold onto the Senate; Akin and Mourdock went down in what were previously thought to be unwinnable races for Democrats.

Elsewhere, progressive stalwart Elizabeth Warren defeated former male model Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race. Independent Angus King was elected to the Senate in Maine and is expected to caucus with the Democrats. Democrats are also clinging to close leads in Senate races in Montana and North Dakota, and besides the Presidential race, the biggest news of the night is that their party will gain seats and have a stronger majority to support Obama's second term.

Gays and Marijuana, oh my

There was also great news down the ballot, where Maine and Maryland legalized gay marriage by popular vote. And the states of Colorado and Washington legalized pot. Even if the economy still continues to suck, at least folks get to be high and happy.

A nightmare in North Carolina

But with all the good news going down across America, it was hard to get too excited, considering North Carolina was slowly being sold off to special interests before our eyes. This morning it seemed like we awoke from a bad dream into the nightmare of our statewide reality. McCrory was easliy elected to be our next governor, and the party to be at in Charlotte on Tuesday was at the Westin, where the city's powerful gathered to celebrate even more power. McCrory is only the third Republican governor the state has had since Reconstruction.

Republicans also picked up a seat in the state senate and eight seats in the state house, giving their party a super majority in the General Assembly and unprecedented power. Republicans have never had control of the governor's mansion and both houses of the legislature at the same time. The question now is, what are they going to do with it?

Janet Cowell was re-elected as state treasurer; all incumbents in those council of state races were. Republicans held onto commissioner of agriculture and commissioner of labor, while Democrats retained the rest. And Republican Dan Forest was elected as lieutenant governor. He is the son of retiring Congresswoman Sue Myrick of the 8th District. Seems like we're not done with that family quite yet.

Republicans also flipped control of the congressional delegation, from 7-6 Democrat to 9-4 Republican. Larry Kissell went down, and Robert Pittenger is the new U.S. Representative for much of Charlotte, while Democrats must now turn to Mel Watt and Kay Hagan for leadership on the national scene.

In the most important race of the night in North Carolina, incumbent Justice Paul Newby barely held off Judge Sam Ervin IV after super PACs spent over $3 million of outside money in on his behalf.

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