Ballots were still being counted at press time, but in addition to decisive victories by the Republican party in the 2014 midterm elections, some corks were likely popped on Tuesday night by marijuana legalization and women's reproductive rights advocates and gun-restriction supporters.
Yes, the Republican party gained seats in both houses of Congress on Tuesday (November 4), including seven key gains in the Senate that gave the GOP a majority. That meant Republicans wrested control of the Senate away from Democrats for the first time in eight years, thanks to wins in Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas, West Virginia, Iowa, North Carolina and Colorado.
According to NBC News, a win by Democratic State Rep. Alma Adams made news, making her the 100th female member of Congress, the highest number in history. There are now 20 women in the Senate (out of 100 members) and there will be 80 in the House (out of 435 members) as soon as Adams is sworn in following her special election win in North Carolina.
Here are the results for some of the most closely watched ballot measures.
Marijuana Wins And Loses
Voters in Washington, D.C., legalized recreational use of marijuana (though not its sale) by a wide margin (69-31 percent), as did voters in Alaska (52-48 percent) and Oregon (54-46), while a ballot measure to allow medical marijuana use in Florida was turned back, failing to reach the 60 percent threshold needed to pass with only 58 percent.
Controversial "personhood" measures in Colorado and North Dakota were rejected in both states, meaning the unborn will not gain expanded rights in those states. In Tennessee, however, voters approved a constitutional amendment that could put future restrictions on abortion in that state by declaring that nothing in the state's constitution "secures or protects right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion."
Minimum Wage Going Up
The good news for people who work minimum wage jobs is that measures to raise the minimum wage passed in Arkansas (to $7.50), Alaska ($8.75), Nebraska ($8) and South Dakota ($8.50).
Gun Control Passes, And Fails
A pair of ballot measures in Washington State went down to the wire with Initiative 594 winning out and mandating that background checks on gun sales at gun shows and online have to be completed. A second measure, Initiative 591, which would have prevented the expansion of background checks, failed.
Even as the GOP gained in the Senate, the party also secured its biggest majority in the House since World War II. Democrats lost at least 14 seats to the GOP, preventing the long-shot Democratic majority in the House of Representatives -- they needed to gain 17 seats to attain that, FYI -- from becoming a reality.
This story is still developing, but a Republican majority in both houses of Congress will (obviously) have a huge impact on future laws.
Raising the national minimum wage, a progressive federal income tax, access to abortion, voter ID laws -- it's pretty clear-cut how your average Republican Senator or Representative would legislate on these issues (against, against, against, for). And with a bicameral majority, not much will be able to stand in their way.
Stay tuned with MTV News as the results of the 2014 midterm elections continue to roll in.
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