In some other elections that received less national publicity, there were more encouraging signs for Democrats. In Maine, voters restored Election Day registration
and in Iowa, a Democrat won a special state Senate election
, ensuring that her party maintains its slim majority in the chamber.
Even where a Republican appears to have won, Democrats can claim at least some measure of victory. Arizona Republican Senate President Russell Pearce
faced a recall election on Tuesday, and results with all precincts reporting show that he is losing to Republican challenger Jerry Lewis
by 1128 votes. Pearce was a key architect of SB 1070, the state's controversial immigration measure signed into law last year that angered many Democrats. A group that helped to organize the recall effort was co-founded by a former Democratic Senate candidate. Pearce has all but conceded defeat, but elections officials indicated there were still early and provisional ballots to be counted
Many of these contests were won or loss on local issues, the strengths of the candidates or choices, and the campaigns that were run, as opposed to being acceptances of the broader national Democratic agenda. And it's more difficult to tie the national climate to state legislative races and gubernatorial contests than it is to tie it to federal elections. So taken together, there is no grand statement about national Democratic policies to be found this morning.
Individually however, there were encouraging signs for the party and its allies. Labor, which was dealt in a blow in Wisconsin when Democrats came up short in their bid to recapture control of the state Senate found some measure of redemption in Ohio, with a decisive repeal of SB 5. On social issues, Democrats also found a hopeful sign, as in a very conservative state, the personhood initiative went down, even as gubernatorial nominees in both parties supported it.