Between the Penn State abuse scandal, the Herman Cain harassment allegations, and reports regarding the handling of American soldiers’ remains at Dover Air Force Base, this week’s top new stories have been disturbing, sad and overwhelmingly depressing. Largely overshadowed by these ongoing controversies, the results of this past Tuesday (Election Day) seemed to be under-reported and under-analyzed by the usual pundits and news programs. Although not nearly as significant as last year’s mid-term elections, Tuesday brought wins and political victories for both parties, and signaled that voters are in some ways finding middle ground.
In Ohio, voters both rejected provisions of the President’s health care law and the Republican Governor’s anti-union law. In Arizona, state legislator Russell Pearce who has been spearheading the state’s anti-immigration movement was defeated by another member of his own Republican party. In Mississippi a ballot measure that would extend personhood to fertilized eggs lost. And closer to the capital, voting showed that the Virginia Governorship and State Legislature will be controlled by Republicans, making the state more problematic for Democrats running in 2012.
There is no doubt that voters across the country are still extremely angry. While Tuesday’s voters did not send the same tone of anger towards a particular party as in the 2010 elections, the results did send the message that voters are tired of what they see as government overreach and the translation of a political position into a pass to blindly follow party agendas. And while each party is claiming victory from Tuesday, in truth, the results did not signal a clear leader for 2012. Nevertheless, Election Day’s results do restore some sense that the middle is more common than the prevailing news would like us to think.