(WASHINGTON) -- Democrats scored major victories in Tuesday’s election as two controversial GOP-backed measures -- the “personhood” initiative in Mississippi and changes to collective bargaining rights by unions in Ohio -- were defeated by voters.
“Voters don’t seem particularly interested in ideological battles that have little impact on their core concerns about fixing the economy and creating jobs,” said ABC News’ political director Amy Walter. “Democrats will also argue that talk of anemic support from their base, especially in the key battleground state of Ohio, has been overstated.”
The “personhood” measure in Mississippi was an ambiguously worded citizen-led initiative that defined human life as starting at “the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.” The measure would’ve restricted certain birth control methods and in-vitro fertilization treatment, and would’ve banned all abortion.
Meanwhile in Ohio, labor groups won a surprising victory and defeated a ballot measure that attempted to cut back collective bargaining rights for union workers.
Issue 2 would’ve eliminated public employees’ rights to collectively bargain for health insurance and pensions, barred them from striking -- workers would’ve paid a price from their paycheck if they did so -- and curbed promotions based on seniority. It would’ve also increased health care costs for workers. Employees would have had to pay at least 15 percent of their health care premiums and allocate 10 percent of their salary for pensions.
Here are other results from Tuesday's elections:
-- As Mississippi passed a new law that would require voters to submit a government-sponsored photo ID before being allowed to vote, voters in Maine overwhelmingly voted against a ballot initiative -- Question 1 -- that would’ve required new voters to register to vote at least two business days prior to an election. Under current law, voters can register on voting day. Liberals had blasted the measure as an infringement on voters’ rights.
-- In Mississippi, Republicans kept the gubernatorial seat. Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant defeated Johnny DuPree, mayor of Hattiesburg. Haley Barbour, Mississippi’s current governor, was barred from running again under the state’s term limit laws.
-- Democrats kept the governor’s seat in Kentucky, where incumbent Steve Beshear was vying for a second term. In a state where President Obama’s popularity has plunged, Beshear’s win over rival David Williams is a boon to Democrats, who lost multiple states to Republicans last year and, in Kentucky, lost to unconventional candidates such as Rand Paul, who won a Senate seat in 2010.
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