Ohio Gov. John Kasich (Getty)

MSNBC's Tom Curry is reporting that the outcomes Tuesday in balloting from Maine to Mississippi included enough wins for Democrats, abortion-rights advocates and labor unions to give a bit of a lift to President Obama and his allies as they look toward the 2012 elections, 12 months from tonight.

In Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected the law enacted last spring by Gov. John Kasich and the Republican-controlled Legislature that limited the ability of public-employee unions to collectively bargain. The law also would have required performance-based pay for most public employees and required them to pay 15 percent of the cost of their health care benefits.

In Mississippi, abortion-rights advocates scored a somewhat surprising victory as voters defeated Initiative 26, a proposed amendment to the state's constitution that would have defined the word "person" to include every human being "from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof."

More than 55 percent of voters voted no on the ballot measure, the Associated Press reported, falling far short of the threshold needed for it to be enacted.

Before you start celebrating, Ohio voters also rebuffed Obama's health care law. Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure saying that no federal, state or local law or rule could compel any person or employer to participate in a health care system. The practical effect of that Ohio measure hinges on the outcome of legal challenges in federal courts to Obama's health care law.


Mississippi voters may have lost the battle over the abortion law, but they also gave overwhelming approval to a ballot initiative that will create a photo-identification requirement for voters. This action may mean that during the next election, they will have enough votes to pass the law.

We think that these voting outcomes mean only one thing: Voters are more complicated than they appear. Lobbying along strict political party lines is shortsighted. As the comedian Chris Rock says, voters may be conservative on some issues and liberal on others. The common factor is that they are, in fact, voting.

Read more at MSNBC.

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