While Tuesday was a good night for the Democrats, there are some interesting items from the election that would encourage them to remain bipartisan and govern from the center.
First, several socially conservative initiatives were passed, sometimes by overwhelming majorities. Defense of marriage propositions were on the ballot in Florida, Arizona, and California and passed in all three states. Second, Barack Obama campaigned on middle-class tax cuts, not unlike Bill Clinton in ’92. That was a big part of his appeal.
Finally, Senator Obama won a decisive victory by bringing new voters to the polls. It looks like 12 million more people voted 2008 than in 2004. Such an expansion typically heralds an evolution, not a revolution, in our politics.
When Clinton came in with a congressional majority in ’92 he went deep blue and lost Congress two years later. George Bush came in with Congress in 2000 and his “bright-red” supply-side tax cuts are now scheduled to expire. Neither politically red nor blue, the U.S. remains a politically divided, deeply purple country. It will be good for the markets, and the country, if they govern it that way.
Douglas R. Tengdin, CFA
Chief Investment Officer
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