President Obama: The online publication Politico said it right: Tuesday’s results validate a few changing perceptions about the nature of U.S. politics right now. And they also are a reminder that a majority of voters do, as polls have shown, like Obama, and that their vote in 2008 wasn’t just an experiment – his presidency is not somehow illegitimate.
Steven David: The Indiana Supreme Court justice faced a loosely organized campaign against retaining him in office because of his first major ruling about homeowners’ rights, but more than two-thirds of voters approve his retention.
Greg Zoeller: The state attorney general was the most popular candidate in Indiana this week, outpolling even Mitt Romney.
Bob Morris: Despite demeaning the Girl Scouts and running – other than yard signs – a non-existent campaign, the freshman Republican state rep still wins re-election with 60 percent of the vote.
Huntertown: Residents reject the town council’s heavy-handed attempt to prevent an appointed board from overseeing the town’s utilities just six months after voters had expressed their clear support for such a move.
Susan Brooks: Hoosiers elected a Fort Wayne native to Congress on Tuesday. The former U.S. attorney replaces fellow Republican – and sometimes loose cannon – Dan Burton in the U.S. House.
Marijuana: Voters in Colorado and Washington state vote to legalize and regulate certain amounts of pot, while Massachusetts approved allowing the drug for medical reasons; Oregon and Arkansas defeated marijuana referendums. Colorado and Washington may be headed for a showdown over the powers of state government because federal law still treats marijuana as an illegal substance.
Ticket splitting: Statewide, Hoosiers show their independence, electing Republicans for governor and attorney general but Democrats for state schools chief and U.S. senator. But in Allen County, Republicans sweep county and legislative races, defeating, among others, the well-qualified Democratic County Council candidate Sharon Tucker.
Partisan school boards: Voters elect Glenna Jehl to the Fort Wayne Community Schools board after the manager of Matt Kelty’s 2007 mayoral campaign declared her conservative Republican leanings. But they rejected Michael Davis, another self-proclaimed conservative Republican.
Tea party: Candidates including Richard Mourdock went down to defeat because of their extreme right-wing views. Yet the movement’s leaders say the problem was that Mitt Romney was not right-wing enough and the next candidate must be even more conservative. Note: Romney’s support picked up after he softened some of his hard-right views in the first debate.
Karl Rove: GOP strategist pointlessly protests when Fox News calls an Ohio victory for Obama.
Education reform, Part 1: This is definitely being watched nationally as a referendum on reform, Mike Petrilli, executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, said before Tuesday’s vote that saw Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett defeated. If Tony Bennett can push this type of aggressive reform agenda and win, it will give a big lift to other politicians eager to enact similar reforms. Will his loss have the opposite effect?
Education reform, Part II: Voters in Idaho and South Dakota pass referendums that, essentially, veto legislative action that reduced the power of teachers unions.
Electoral College: President Obama scores a razor-thin popular-vote victory while easily winning the Electoral College. But the candidates increasingly ignored voters in the non-swing states.
Equal rights: Maryland and Maine become the first states to approve same-sex marriage through referendums.