Americans voted to reelect President Barack Obama tonight, giving him four more years to work to expand the economy and drive down stubborn unemployment numbers. Throughout the long campaign, voters told pollsters they favored his steady demeanor and, in the end, embraced his vision of a government that sought to prioritize middle class opportunity, in part through a federal tax policy that asks the top earners in the country to pay the same rates they paid in the Clinton years, when the U.S. economy boomed.
Although the economy was placed at the top of most lists of voter concerns, hardline positions on social issues like abortion rights and gay equality embraced by Republicans around the country, including by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan, repeatedly made headlines and made moderate voters recoil. The Romney campaign also seemed to make the cynical decision to rely on white voters alone to carry Romney into the White House. The decision, in an increasingly multicultural United States, seemed partly forced by the intense Republican primary race of the spring and partly by desperation, given the popularity of President Obama and his policy positions with ethnic Americans, including the fast-expanding Latino population.
Although the election was supposed to be close, tonight it became clear that it was never close at all. The meticulously planned Obama campaign, at work for years on the ground and relying on state of the art data management, worked perhaps even better than its directors said it would work. The nation’s major media outlets called the race even before traditionally pivotal states such as Florida and Ohio finished tallying votes or even projecting vote totals.
The impressive victory will surely bolster the confidence of voters who chose to trust the President to take the country “forward,” as the campaign slogan went, into a crucial term where the country’s demographics will continue to shift, as will the global economy, foreign policy dynamics and American views of the sustainability of an economy that runs overwhelmingly on the fossil fuels of the past century.
Colorado Democrats celebrated the President’s victory and the state legislative victories notched in key districts across the Centennial State that have given Democrats full control of the state government.
State legislative victories or projected victories, include House District 17, where Democrat Tony Exum defeated Republican Rep. Mark Barker; House District 18, where Democratic Rep. Pete Lee defeated Jennifer George; House District 28, where Democrat Brittany Petterson defeated Republican Amy Attwood; House District 29, where Democrat Tracy Kraft-Tharp defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Robert Ramirez; House District 23, where incumbent Democrat Rep. Max Tyler defeated Republican Rick Enstrom; and House District 59, where Democrat Mike McLachlan defeated Rep. J. Paul Brown.
Colorado tonight also became the first state in the Union to legalize marijuana, when voters passed Constitutional Amendment 64.