Let's Get Real.
While no one can deny the historic GOP victory at the polls, some on the political Left are using ballot initiatives regarding raising the minimum wage, restricting abortion rights, and legalizing marijuana to call into question the GOP mandate. It is clear that the GOP opposes raising the federal minimum wage under the premise that doing so would imperil businesses and cost people jobs. However, the same voters that elected GOP candidates at all levels of government also approved minimum wage increases in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Arkansas.
Also, medical marijuana ballot initiatives in Washington, D.C., and Oregon both passed. A medical marijuana initiative in Florida won 58% of the vote, but state laws require ballot initiatives to pass with at least 60% of the votes so that measure went down in defeat. The GOP has eschewed any measure to legalize marijuana and has roundly criticized President Obama’s decision to not prosecute marijuana offenses at the federal level.
So what does it all mean? The popular polling blog site FiveThirtyEight ridiculed the electorate by stating that voters approved liberal positions on ballot initiatives, but voted conservatives into office. They wondered aloud what was up with that, but Christian Broda of CNN has stated that the answer is likely the economy. Voters retain their preferences on social issues, but they absolutely value the economy above all. The sheer lack of jobs as a result of the president’s policies warranted electing conservatives to reverse the Obama economic agenda.