It's the morning after, Republicans are doing the walk of shame, and it's time to start piecing together what happened last night.
First up, let's revisit the notion that this campaign was basically just white men versus a coalition of everyone else. A simply back of the envelop calculation tells you that the numbers just wouldn't work. Women hold a slight majority over men, and 63% of the country is non-Hispanic white. So, white men would account for about 32% of the population. You can't win with just 32%. And, that's assuming all white men supported Mitt Romney, which of course they didn't.
Let's look at the actual results though, turning to CNN's exit poll data.
White men were slightly over-represented, making up 34% of all votes, and they overwhelmingly supported Romney, going for him 62% of the time. But, even with that heavy Republican bias, white male voters supporting Romney were only 21.1% of all votes cast. White women also leaned Romney, going his way 56% of the time. White women were also a larger voting block than white men, making up 38% of all votes. White women supporting Romney were 21.3% of all votes cast.
So, while white men were more likely to vote for Romney than white women, a Romney supporter is more likely to be a white woman than a white man.
Moving on to the Congress, there's been a slight change in the Senate. Democrats gained two seats, one in Indiana and one in Massachusetts. Republicans took one seat from the Democrats in Kansas. That gives us a net gain of 1 seat for the Dems and a loss of 2 for the GOP. ...Confused? An independent won Maine, which was formerly held by the Republican Party.
Republicans will likely lose some seats in the House, but maintain a majority. They went in to the race with 242 seats, and have so far picked up 232, with 12 still up in the air. Odds are they won't win 10 of them, but either way, they still have more than the 218 needed to hold the House.
And finally on to the more fun, less mathy stuff.
Gay marriage has passed in both Maine and Maryland. In Minnesota a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage failed. The gay marriage vote in Washington has not yet been called, but odds are in favor of it passing. While we've been hearing so much hype on the news about the crisis of gay bullying, a 4 for 4 sweep of gay rights ballot measures speaks a different tune about tolerance in the United States.
Washington and Colorado have taken in the lead in the War on the War on Drugs. California of course has allowed medical marijuana for quite some time. New York decriminalized it (meaning you can be fined, but it's a civil offense, not a criminal matter). But Washington and Colorado are no longer pussyfooting around on the issue. They straight up made recreational marijuana use legal. The federal government still has laws against it, but those two votes will help pave the way for a national legalization effort.
Arkansas however rejected just allowing medical marijuana, likely opposed because it would provide competition to Arkansas's booming meth business. Oregon also failed to pass a medical marijuana bill. Montana went one step further and outright banned medical marijuana. Massachusetts meanwhile voted to allow medical marijuana. We'll soon see a spike in crew-related muscle pain.
Californians for all their hippie ways have voted 53% against banning the death penalty.
Floridians rejected a ballot measure that would have banned the state from using public funds for abortion. An odd result given that most of Florida's population is well past their childbearing years.