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Statewide election results to cheer

In a sign that Republicans vastly misunderstood the meaning of their success in the 2010 election, voters in Ohio Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a law passed by their Republican-controlled legislature and championed by their Republican governor to severely restrict collective bargaining rights for public employees.

The referendum on the law, which was Issue 2 on the ballot, was defeated 61 percent to 39 percent in a major victory for unions representing the 360,000 public employees whose power the law would have significantly curtailed. And it has given Democrats, who were crushed at the polls in Ohio just one year ago, a surge of momentum heading into next year’s elections.

And in a sign that common sense can prevail, even in the ultra-conservative state of Mississippi, voters there rejected a bizarre constitutional amendment that would have defined a fertilized egg as a person– thus defining any abortion, including in cases of rape or incest, as murder. It would have been a direct challenge to the US Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision, which allows for abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Opponents say that measure could have criminalized birth control, affected in vitro fertilization practices and even forced doctors to decline to provide pregnant cancer patients with chemotherapy for fear of legal repercussions.

Both the Republican and Democratic candidates for governor of Mississippi endorsed the measure– a sign that pandering to what you think is public opinion can have embarrassing results.

Speaking before the vote, Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant (who won the election for governor) said that if the amendment was voted down, it would be a victory for Satan.

We now take you to the depths of hell for a reaction to the vote from Old Scratch himself:

And in perhaps a sign of things to come for rightwing Republicans, here’s Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois yelling at constituents who dared to blame banks rather than “government meddling” for the nation’s financial crisis.