It’s been an exciting night for progressives with an eye on the US mid-term elections. When the final Daily chimp blew out the candle on his desk and hit the hay, it was all in the balance in Virginia and Montana, and the Republicans still leading in Montana. The latest figures are showing Democrat Jon Tester with his nose ahead of incumbent Conrad Burns by a mere 5,000-odd votes. Webb is also still just ahead of Allen in Virginia.
A big part of Rove’s strategy in previous elections has been the use of initiative votes to galvanise and mobilise the Republican base on issues such as gay marriage and abortion. This year, it seems that one of the decisive factors in this year’s races may have been ballot initiatives on the minimum wage. The Democrats have made the raising of the federal minimum wage one of their big campaigning issues.
Daily Kos have figures for some of the ballot initiatives. Although they’ve headlined on South Dakota’s rejection of new anti-abortion laws, the minimum wage initiatives in three states may be more interesting for the overall results of the election.
Missouri voted 75% Yes; 25% No to raise the minimum wage.
Montana voted 74% Yes; 26% No
Ohio 56% Yes; 44% No
Montana seems to have been the closest race in the Senate for the Democrats. If Tester does sneak it, then surely having this issue mobilising his voters must have been a big factor.