The potpourri of election results on Tuesday is a political scientist’s delight – there’s a data point to support any argument you like.
Calling for a Democratic avalanche next year? Look at how soundly unions won in their bid to roll back a Republican-supported law curtailing the collective bargaining power of Ohio state workers.
Predicting a continuation of the anti-Obama tide that started in the off-year elections of 2009? Ohioans also repudiated President Obama’s central accomplishment by ratifying a constitutional amendment blocking his prescription for mandatory health insurance.
Mississippians voted down what would have been the most stringent pro-life measure in the country. Hooray for Democrats! But wait, Mississippians also overwhelmingly voted in a severe limitation on eminent domain power and new requirements for voters to show photo IDs. Hooray for Republicans!
The truth is that referenda make poor predictors of future electoral behavior.