Two underreported stories from Tuesday’s election results:
1. Private property rights were a big winner. As Jason Kuznicki noted, restrictions on eminent domain had a very good night. Voters overwhelmingly rebuked the Supreme Court’s Kelo decision by passing prohibitions or severe restrictions on using eminent domain to take land for private development in South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Louisiana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Oregon. Where restrictions on eminent domain were coupled with “regulatory takings” reform, they favored less well — winning in Arizona but losing in California and Idaho. Nevertheless, it was a great night for private property rights.
2. Evangelical Christians Went (Slightly) Democratic. John Kerry won 21 percent of the evangelical Christian vote in 2004. This past Tuesday, Democrats garnered nearly a third of the evangelical vote, which was certainly more than enough to have tipped the balance in a couple of close races. James Carville, sitting at the desk on CNN, specifically mentioned exit polling from the Webb-Allen race showing Webb with support from evangelicals in the mid-30s. One can point to several factors as to why the evangelical vote was down and slightly more blue this year, including dissatisfaction with what the administration has been able to deliver, Congressional corruption, and perhaps even the Ted Haggard revelation a week before the election. Gay marriage restrictions still won, except in libertarian Arizona where an amendment lost 51-49, but evangelicals split their tickets. Gay marriage amendments polled far ahead of the GOP senate candidates in Virginia and Tennessee, to cite two examples.
UPDATE: Go Rutgers!