Wisconsin Senator-elect Tammy Baldwin, who will become the nation's first openly gay senator, celebrates her victory on Nov. 6 in Madison, Wis. Photo: Darren Hauck/Getty Images
1. Not only did voters in three states (Maine, Maryland, Washington State) legalize same-sex marriage, and voters in one state refuse to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman — the first openly gay person was elected to the U.S. Senate (Rep. Tammy Baldwin), North Dakota elected its first openly gay state legislator, and gay or gay-friendly candidates prevailed in the more than a dozen races targeted by the Human Rights Campaign.
2. As one wag put it, Koch Zero: California Proposition 32, which would have banned unions from automatically deducting dues from worker paychecks but left loopholes for corporations, was defeated. All six races targeted by Sheldon Adelson's $50+ million fell to the person or entity he was trying to defeat.
3. Democrats might have gained a supermajority in California's legislature, meaning that they could raise taxes if so inclined. Republicans control the legislature in Arkansas now, a first for them in over 150 years. Democrats regained control of the Minnesota legislature.
4. Asian-Americans were 3 percent of the national vote, but they turned in favor of President Obama by an even higher percentage than Hispanics did.
5. As Politico's Charlie Mahtesian notes, Blue Dog Democrats were decimated. Three lost their seats; four retiring Dem seats were picked by Republicans. The House will be much more partisan than it was, even though Dems will probably wind up netting several seats. At this late hour, it looks like they'll pick up three in Arizona.
6. Nate Silver may be everyone's hero, but three polling firms had poor track records: Rasmussen, Mason-Dixon, and Gallup.
7. New Hampshire elected a woman governor, a new woman senator, and will send a new woman to the House of Representatives. All four top office-holders in that state are women.
8. Big-name House incumbents turned out of office: Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.), Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), Rep. Larry Kissel (D-N.C.), and Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa). Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) barely held on, but the jury is out on the fate of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who seems to have been stunned by a well-funded out-of-nowhere challenger named Bill Bloomfield. Also, Rep. Howard Berman lost to Rep. Brad Sherman in a Dem vs. Dem race in California.
9. Mia Love, the GOP's shining hope for inclusion and a key speaker at the GOP convention, lost her bid to defeat Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah). Love is an African-American Republican.
10. Two renewable energy initiatives backed by environmentalists failed to gain majority support in Michigan and Arizona, perhaps reflecting economic concerns.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The latent sexism of the male marriage proposal
- Bush vs. Clinton in 2016 is the perfect way to make millennials hate politics even more
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- This judge is the reason we're still fighting over net neutrality
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- What would a U.S.-China war look like?
Subscribe to the Week