The results are mostly what one would expect. John McCain won by a wide margin. Of the eight congressional districts, three will remain Democratic. Most statewide offices will go to Republicans, including superintendent of schools – one of the more depressing results of the election. Of course, Jan Brewer will remain governor thanks to her support of SB 1070.
True to form, however, Arizona voters took a far more balanced approach to the statewide propositions.
We voted down an attempt to make hunting and fishing a constitutional amendment, protecting wildlife lands for people who prefer not to go hiking alongside men with guns shooting at things.
We voted overwhelmingly against the gutting of the land conservation fund by the state legislature. This means our budget will be in more dire straits than the legislature had predicted, but our environment will remain protected.
Along those same lines, we voted overwhelmingly to protect early childhood education and healthcare programs from the legislature which sought to end them to close the budget gap.
On the other hand, we voted to give Arizonans the right to opt out of the national healthcare law – something that will surely face legal challenges down the road.
Medical marijuana is still too close to call. Other propositions were a mixed bag or remain too close to call.
In the end, Arizona remains a pretty independent state despite the Republican sweep. I don’t think it will last. Like the rest of the country, I think Republicans here are riding on a wave of anger and uncertainty. These waves crest quickly and break.