It Was a Good Night For Abortion Rights, Ron DeSantis, Iowa Gun Owners—and Democrats

Big-picture items like the fate of the House or Senate are still unclear, so for Roundup this morning we’ll zero in on what we do know. This includes the outcomes of a lot of the state ballot initiatives we previewed yesterday, and of some key Congressional races.

It was a good night for…

Reproductive freedom. Five states had reproduction-related measures on their ballots last night, with three of them aimed at protecting abortion rights, one anti-abortion measure, and one measure in Montana that required doctors to prolong the lives of infants who are born but could not ultimately survive on their own outside the womb. It’s looking like the three measures aimed at protecting reproductive freedom will pass, while the anti-abortion amendment (in Kentucky) and the Montana measure will fail. More on these five measures here.

Iowa gun owners. Iowans have approved a constitutional protection protecting their right to bear arms.

John Fetterman. Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman has beat Republican Mehmet Oz in a highly contested and high-profile Senate race. With 94 percent of votes in, Fetterman is beating Oz 50.3 percent to 47.3 percent. Libertarian candidate Erik Gerhardt has 1.4 percent of the vote.

J.D. Vance. In another closely watched Senate race, this one in Ohio, Republican JD Vance has beat Democrat (and incumbent) Tim Ryan. With 95 percent of votes in, Vance is beating Ryan 53.3 to 46.7 percent.

Ron DeSantis. The Florida governor easily won’t reelection, even turning the historically blue Miami-Dade County red. “DeSantis is the first GOP governor to win Miami-Dade County, a Democratic stronghold, since Jeb Bush’s re-election in 2002. He did so by double digits,” noted Axios.

Vice regulation. In California, a proposal to legalize sports betting at race tracks and Native American casinos is failing by a huge margin, and a proposal to legalize online sports betting in California is failing by an even bigger margin. Meanwhile, a proposal to uphold the state’s ban on flavored tobacco products has passed. And in Colorado, a measure to allow alcohol delivery services and to-go drinks are currently failing. With 78 percent of precincts reporting, 52.78 percent of Colorado voters said no.

Ranked choice voting in Nevada. The state is looking likely to approve a top five ranked decision voting scheme.

The very old and the very young. In Florida, elected the first Gen Z member of Congress. In Iowa:

It was a MIXED night for…

Drug prohibition. Recreational marijuana legalization was on the ballot in five states last night. But only two of these proposals were successful, in Maryland (Question 4) and Missouri (Amendment 3). The legalization measures failed in Arkansas (Issue 4), North Dakota (Measure 2), and South Dakota (Measure 27). Meanwhile, a Colorado proposal to decriminalize psychedelic plants and fungi is narrowly winning with 80 percent of votes in.

Criminal justice reform. Both Ohio and Alabama passed bail initiatives (Issue 1 and Amendment 1) that will mean more people being denied bail or having their bail set very high. (Reason‘s Billy Binion has more on these proposals.) Montanans overwhelmingly voted for a constitutional amendment (Montana C-48) requiring authorities to obtain a search warrant before searching electronic devices or communications. And five states voted last night on whether their constitutions should allow slavery or indentured servitude as punishment for crimes. Proposals to prohibit this passed with large majorities in Alabama, Vermont (Proposal 2), and Tennessee (Amendment 3), and passed with a majority slimmer in Oregon (Measure 112). Louisiana’s measure (Amendment 7)—which was more controversial, with some saying its provisions would actually backfire—has failed.

It was a BaD night for…

Punditry and the predicted “red wave.” As of this morning, it looks like the GOP will control the House of Representatives—but by a much smaller margin than was anticipated. Republicans were expecting to gain at least a couple dozen seats, giving them a hefty House majority. Now it’s looking like they’ll win a much smaller number of races and may wind up controlling the House by as little as a few seats.

MAGA Republicans. The meta story forming about this election seems to be how Republicans—and especially MAGA Republicans who spread 2020 election conspiracy theories—performed much worse than expected. This includes losses for Doug Mastriano and New Hampshire Senate candidate Don Bolduc (both men who say the 2020 election was stolen), Tudor Dixon (a Trump-backed candidate running for governor of Michigan), and former Trump administration official John Gibbs (who was running for a Congressional seat in Michigan), among a number of others. While it’s probably too soon for any grand pronouncements yet, a lot of people are nonetheless calling this a referendum on Donald Trump. “Within the party, Mr. Trump’s power has been unquestionable…But the limits of Mr. Trump’s political power were evident during the general election,” said The New York Times. Alt-right personality Mike Cernovich tweeted that “Trump as kingmaker or a viable 2024 general election candidate is over as of tonight.”

The Libertarian Party’s one state legislator. In Wyoming, Marshall Burt—the only Libertarian candidate currently serving as a state legislator anywhere in the country—lost his seat to Republican Cody Wylie.

Tipped wage workers in Washington, DC The city has passed a proposal (Initiative 82) to raise the minimum wage for tipped-wage workers (like bartenders and servers)—a move which many say will lead to them getting less in tips and making less money ultimately.

Still Unclear…

The fate of the Senate. Two key Senate races—including those in Georgia (where Democrat Raphael Warnock is facing off against Republican Herschel Walker) and Nevada (where Democrat Catherine Cortez Mastro is facing off against Republican Adam Laxalt)—are still toss-ups. Which means control of the Senate could still go either way. As of this morning, 49 seats have either been called for or are highly expected to be called for Democrats, and the same number of seats have been called for or are highly expected to be called for Republicans.

How big a majority Republicans will have in the House. As of this morning, Democrats have either won or are expected to win 206 seats, Republicans have either won or are expected to win 219 seats, and 10 races are still considered toss-ups.

The fate of the Trumpy-Republican gubernatorial candidate in Arizona, Kari Lake. As of this morning, 63 percent of votes were in, with 49.1 percent going for Lake and 50.9 percent going for Democrat Katie Hobbs.

The fate of a religious freedom amendment in Arkansas.

How Arizonans are voting on a measure to add new voter ID requirements (though it’s not looking good right now).


QUICK HITS

• James Roesener, a Democrat running for a state house seat in New Hampshire, has won his race, making him the first openly transgender man to be a state legislator.

• Jonathan Chait calls the midterm results “a shocking vote of confidence for Democrats.”

• Trump drew cheers talking about executing drug dealers and sending the bullets to their families:

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