Thursday, November 08, 2012

New Hampshire Political Turnaround On Every Level


Democrats won back something like 8 state legislatures yesterday and expanded their majorities in several others. That's important. For example, Democrats won more seats in the Iowa Senate, which effectively ends the threat of backward religionists reversing marriage equality in the state. And what happened in New Hampshire was nothing short of astounding. Obama won the state-- another of Mitt Romney's many home states-- with 366,089 (52.2%) against Romney's 325,668 (46.4%). Simultaneously, voters fired the state's two Republican congressmen, sleazy corporate whore Charlie Bass, and crackpot teabagger Frank Guinta, replacing them with Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter. And New Hampshire voters elected Democrat Maggie Hassan governor over bizarre right-wing extremist Ovide Lamontagne, 375,686 (54.6%) to 292,500 (42.5%).

After the last election-- in which New Hampshire voters had swung hard right-- I had remarked that both houses of the state legislature changed hands. "There are currently 19 Republicans and only 5 Democrats in the state Senate while the Republicans hold a 298-104 advantage over the Democrats in the lower house. And Republicans have moved quickly to put New Hampshire back on a right-wing, pre-2006 course. They are working towards overturning marriage equality, reinstating the death penalty, cutting back on women's choice, and putting up barriers to union organizing." And they've been trying to limit voting rights and moved towards taking away students' right to vote.

All those groups they targeted? They targeted them back in the elections on Tuesday. Much to the relief of most New Hampshirites, Democrats won back control of the House with 217 seats to the GOP's 177, six races still undecided. Republicans lost 6 seats in the Senate and now control that body 13-11, rather than 19-5.

And across the country, Democrats won more state legislative seats than Republicans, bad news for the Koch brothers' neo-fascist state-level organization, ALEC. They won back the Colorado House, the Oregon House, the New York state Senate and both chambers in both Maine and Minnesota (although the GOP recaptured control of the Wisconsin Senate as well as state senates in Arkansas and Alaska.) Overall, Republicans now control 56 chambers (down from 59), while Democrats control 41 (up from 36). And Democrats won supermajorities in the California Assembly and Senate and in the Illinois House and Senate, while the GOP lost their supermajorities in both the state House and state Senate. Three seats separate the Democrats from a Senate majority.

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