Besides Mississippi voters rejecting a controversial anti-abortion measure, and upstate NY voters rejecting candidates with artsy nude photos, there were other big elections around the nation which gave a glimpse into the country's current mood. Ohio voters rejected an anti-labor law, Arizona voters recalled the extremist Tea Party-friendly state senator, and as a result, Democrats are starting to feel confidant again.
Voters in Ohio rejected the state’s new collective bargaining law—which banned strikes and weakened collective bargaining for teachers, cops, firefighters and other public workers—by a margin of 63 percent to 36 percent, marking a major victory for union's going into next year's election. “Ohio sent a message to every politician out there: Go in and make war on your employees rather than make jobs with your employees, and you do so at your own peril,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said.
Strategists for President Obama told the NY Times that the lopsided labor victory in Ohio was an indication that the country was swinging back on their side, and Obama is in good standing for Election 2012. “This week—one year before Election Day—and during yesterday’s elections across the country, we all took huge strides in accomplish these goals,” said Jeremy Bird, the national field director for Mr. Obama’s campaign. However, Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer pointed out that Ohioans also passed a measure that rejects health care mandates in the state, one of Obama's major first term policies. Spicer also pointed to major Republican gains in the Virginia state legislature as sign of Republican growth.
In Arizona, there was another rejection of extremism as citizens voted to recall conservative State Senator Russell Pearce, author of the controversial immigration status inquiry bill and an ally of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. “If being recalled is the price for keeping one’s promises, then so be it,” said Pearce, a hero to the Tea Party movement, who lost to comparatively centrist Republican Jerry Lewis.
“Republicans were rebuked for their partisan over reach and their anti-worker, anti-middle class, anti-immigrant and anti-women policies,” Brad Woodhouse, the communications director for the Democratic National Committee, said about the Arizona election. But Carl Forti, a veteran Republican operative who helps run political action committee’s on behalf of Republican candidates and causes, gave a much more measured take on this year's voting: “No real surprises and not sure it means much for next year,” he said in an email to the Times. ” A year is an eternity in politics.”