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Midterm Blue Wave Helped Pass Many Progressive Ballot Initiatives Even in Red States


The midterm victory for Democrats looks even more impressive now that all the ballots have been counted. Democrats won 53.1 percent of all votes for US House candidates while Republicans earned just 45.2 percent. That's a statistical tsunami and it resulted in Democrats picking up 40 seats in the House of Representatives. It also meant that many progressive ballot initiatives passed with comfortable margins, even in red states.

Here are the results of some of the most important ballot initiatives.

Minimum Wage: Arkansas will soon have one of the highest effective minimum wages in the nation. Voters overwhelmingly approved an increase to $11 per hour by 2021. Missouri voters boosted their minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2023.

Voting Rights: Florida passed "Amendment 4" which will allow about 1.4 million ex-felons to regain their voting rights. Voters in Maryland, Nevada, and Michigan supported measures that would allow same-day voter registration or automatic voter registration.

Pot legalization: Michigan legalized the recreational use of marijuana by those over 21, while Utah and Missouri voted to legalize medical marijuana.

Medicaid Expansion: Three very red states, Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah, voted to expand Medicaid under Obamacare and, in electing a Democratic Governor, Maine voters ensured that their state would implement expansion.

Democrats suffered some set-backs too, such as new abortion restrictions in Alabama and West Virginia, but, overall, they have reason to argue that their positions reflect the views of a majority of voters, even in some very conservative states.


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