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Nationally, Voters Send Mixed Signals

Although I spend most of my time focusing on state and local politics, I do enjoy the national scene as well, particularly when I see voters appear to contradict themselves.  At the same time they put Republicans in power, they vote for policies usually promoted by Democrats.

Thanks to my WIBC producer Matt Bair, we found a few examples from Tuesday…


  • Voters elect Republicans  Asa Hutchinson to the Governor’s seat, Tom Cotton to the U.S. and elected four Republicans in all four contested House seats.  They also voted to raise the minimum wage from $6.25 to 7.50, 25 cents above the national average.


  • Voters elected Republican Dan Sullivan to the United States Senate, defeating incumbent Mark Begich by three points.  However, they also elected to raise minimum wage from $7.75 to $8.75 next year and to $9.75 in 2016 and they said yes to a measure that makes it legal for adults aged 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of pot and up to six plants.


  • Voters choose Republican Cory Gardner over Democrat Mark Udall, but reject, by 2-1, an amendment to the state constitution which would have defined a fetus as a person.  A similar result occurred in North Dakota.


  • In my home state, Republican billionaire Bruce Rauner defeats incumbent Pat Quinn for Governor, but voters approve an advisory referendum calling for the minimum wage to be increased from $8.25 to $10.00 dollars next year.


  • They elect a Republican Governor while at the same time  sign off on a measure that will allow workers to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick time in a given year, accruing one hour for every 30 hours on the clock. The ballot question’s supporters have said it will give the state the country’s strictest requirement for providing paid sick time to workers.


  • Voters elected Republican Pete Ricketts to Governor by nearly 20 points.  Republican Ben Sasse  won in a landslide over his Dem opponent in the US Senate, but they also   agreed to gradually increase minimum wage to nine dollars an hour by 2016.


What are they thinking?

  • Bill

    Minimum wage is not a conservative/liberal issue – it’s a state/federal issue. People want their neighbor to get a decent wage, but don’t want Washington to tell them how to run their business.

  • malercous

    Abdul; You obviously didn’t major in poli-sci. Off-year elections draw an older crowd, the young don’t turn out. Dem voters are notorious for not coming out, as are swing voters. This favors the GOP as the elderly lean conservative. This year, like most every off-year election in a president’s 2nd term aids the opposition party, a “protest” vote if you will. This, along with the Dems having to defend Senate seats at a 2:1 ratio explains the GOP’s big win. Totally predictable, as it had been.
    The referenda on pot, the min wage, gay marriage & abortion rights are mainstream issues; many Republicans support them, otherwise they’d have never passed. Right-wing media outlets present a skewed political outlook. I’m 52 yrs old & the people I went to school with, even the most strident conservatives now, have no problem with pot, we all smoked it then, if not still. Most of us also don’t feel the need to have gov. make our wives’/daughters’ medical decisions. We’d also like for our kids to move out of the house, which they can’t do working for minimum wage, especially with student loan debt. No cross-signals were sent in this election.
    Here’s a “prediction” for 2016: The Dems get the W.H. & retake the Senate. Also pick up seats in the House, but not enough to swing it. Kind of a no-brainer prediction really; even Stevie Wonder can see that.