Conservatives who had resigned themselves to hearing bad news about federal elections tonight were still keenly interested in some down-ballot races, including ballot initiatives. A lot of these contests remain undecided, or are in the West where voting still continues, but I can give a quick update of a few items of interest.
The Massachusetts initiative to abolish the state income tax was defeated soundly.
Florida’s same-sex marriage ban will likely pass. Pro-lifers seem likely to be disappointed with initiative outcomes in Colorado and South Dakota.
Ward Connerly’s racial-preferences ban in Colorado will be close. His Nebraska initiative is leading, but only a scant percentage of the vote is in.
Early returns don’t look promising for Republicans in key state legislative contests, though some countertrends may show up later in the evening.
In North Carolina, where Republicans haven’t elected a governor in 20 years, there’s a strong Democratic turnout, thanks to the Obama folks. It already helped send Elizabeth Dole packing. It may also end up blocking Republican Pat McCrory from defeating Democrat Beverly Perdue in the governor’s race, thought right now it’s a 50-47 race (Obama and McCain are at 50-49) with lots of the vote left to count.