About the Other Day: The Other Elections of 2016


Yes, there were other things on the 2016 ballot other than the presidential election!



Other things happened on the 2016 ballot that were equally as significant as the presidential contest! Well… ok… maybe not, but we should still talk about them. Here’s the quick rundown of the “other” elections on the 2016 ballot.



The Flip that Never Came


For those who were hoping to flip the Senate in favor of the Democrats, the realization probably started to hit around Wisconsin, when Republican incumbent Ron Johnson was holding a steady lead over Russ Feingold. At that point it became pretty clear.


The GOP was retaining the Senate.


It was a tough pill to swallow for Democrats considering there were ten close Senate races held by Republican incumbents going into Tuesday. Democrats needed five of them to control the Senate. The only two Democrats that were able to take Senate seats from Republican incumbents were in Illinois and New Hampshire. The promise for Democrats taking the Senate were suddenly dashed.


Also let’s make no bones about it, this was the best chance Democrats had with taking the Senate. The next set of Senate elections in 2018 aren’t as friendly to the Democrats as these were in 2016, so it’s hard to see how the Democrats could get control of the Senate in two years. Add to the fact that the Democratic Party looks to be in disarray with most of President Obama’s policies looking to be overturned with a GOP controlled Congress and Democrats not being able to rally people to the polls. In other words, the next few years will be a tough one for Democrats which will include much infighting and soul-searching. There’s no good way out of this mess.


But then again, we’re living in a world where NO ONE saw Donald J. Trump getting the electoral votes to become president, so we could be wrong again.


There’s always hope.



Yeah That Sounds About Right



But for Democratic Women, It Wasn’t All Bad


While losing the chance to have the first-female president was a major blow for many women in 2016, it wasn’t a total wash. Here are some examples.


  • Tammy Duckworth was one of the few Senate seats that the Democrats flipped in 2016. Having won pretty handily against incumbent senator Mark Kirk, Duckworth has shown to be a rising star in the Democratic Party. Having served in Iraq, she can potentially be a strong voice for veterans’ affairs, a role Democrats don’t usually play.

  • Kamala Harris is only the second African-American women to be elected to the US Senate! While African-Americans have traditionally had representation in the House, breaking into the Senate is a major deal.

  • Catherine Cortez Masto took over retiring senator Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada. With her win, she becomes the first Latina women to reach the Senate, a major milestone in the Democratic Party.


Also if you compound that with some historic House wins (Minneapolis organizer Ilhan Omar) and the few governorships that were won by the Democrats (first openly LGBT governor in Kate Brown of Oregon), then there are a few bright spots for women politicians in 2016.



Get’em High



With 2016 being one of the most divisive electorates in recent history, there is one thing that we all look to agree on; people love gettin’ high! Marijuana initiatives were on the ballots – for medical or recreational use – in nine states. Seven of them unanimously passed their measures!


Arizona, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota all legalized marijuana for medical use, while California, Nevada, and Massachusetts legalized its recreational use. Arizona looks to be the only state that voted down their initiative to legalize the drug while Maine’s recreational measure is still too-close-to-call.


With each passing election cycle, more-and-more states are letting voters decide marijuana legalization initiatives. In 2016, marijuana legalization looks to be the only thing we can all agree on.



(Photo Credit: Pixabay.com, Google Images)


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