1. Working class rejection of Bush/Romney/Ryan economics drove victories in Ohio and across the country. Labor's ground game delivered, winning working class voters by focusing on economics and engagement, particularly in the battleground states.
* The victory in Ohio reflects the failure of Republican economics and the strength of our collective effort to make this case to union households and their non-union neighbors. In Ohio we won the union vote and lost non-union vote.
* We see this same broad dynamic across the country. Barack Obama won with the support of working people. President Obama won union members. We in the labor movement were also now able to reach out to the neighbors of our members through all of our programs. Working America households voted 66% for Obama. Our Repurpose program built new tools and created a new forum for progressive cooperation.
* Americans have no patience for Ryan's austerity approach. Even Romney Ryan voters opposed cutting Social Security and Medicare to reduce the deficit by a 2 to 1 margin.
* We engaged with OH union members like never before - half of the members received a live telephone call from a volunteer, and nearly half were contacted at work. Union support ended up increasing compared to 2008 (we will have full analysis of the impact once the voter files are loaded analyzed).
* Our most focused Working America targets - "canvas plus" members - ended up voting for Obama 74-23.
* We won Ryan's home state of Wisconsin - the political overreach of the Walker attack on unions backfired. Obama's
support among union members went up compared to 2008 - support matched by Senator-elect Baldwin.
* A good example of our program can be seen in a tested, effective set of mail packages used to challenge Josh Mandel. When we ran careful control group tests on this message that directly challenged the Republican attacks on Medicare and Social Security, we found a 9% lift on our best targets - an extremely effective piece.
Let's be clear. This is the message that won. This was a mandate to preserve needed programs, paid for by fair taxes. Austerity candidates lose. Floridians stood against Medicare cuts.
2. Senate candidates Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, and Sherrod Brown won because they rejected Bush/Romney/Ryan economics. Defining Republican economics as the upper class protection racket allowed them to rally from early deficits.
* Scott Brown won union households in 2010. In August, Elizabeth Warren was trailing incumbent Scott Brown by five points because of his support from blue collar voters. Since then the labor movement went door to door to show that Warren, not Brown was the true friend of working people, and that Brown embraced the Romney/Ryan agenda. Union members and working families shifted, and Scott Brown will no longer be parking his truck the Dirksen parking lot.
* Sherrod Brown and Tammy Baldwin will be strong voices in the Senate on economic issues for years to come.
3. We made gains in the House despite a huge Republican spending advantage.
* Outside Republican groups unleashed a cash tsunami in the House: Overall Republican candidates have $669 million compared to $481 million for Democrats.
* More importantly, in the 34 districts that Republicans hold but have Democratic PVI's, Republican candidates outspent Democrats 103 million to 87 million; we nonetheless won the vast majority of these races. And in the nine most extreme cases, Republicans are outspent their Democratic opponents by $55 million to $ 21 million - more than 2-1. Yet a strong message and good targeting overcame this advantage, and we are on track to win as many as eight of these.
* Republican control of state legislatures ensured grossly gerrymandered districts in many competitive areas, putting Democrats at a disadvantage after the 2010 process.
4. State Legislative races show again the rejection of right wing economics and radical Governors' and their overreach.
* The 2010 election gave Republicans control of 20 state governments. They had campaigned to create jobs. Instead, they launched ferocious attacks on the labor unions and the right to vote - their political adversaries. Look for Democratic gains in state legislatures, and perhaps even change of control in some.
* We made solid progress last night, gaining Democratic majorities in the CO House, ME House & Senate, MN House and Senate, New Hampshire House, NY Senate, and OR House.
* We held majorities in IA Sen, KY House, NV Sen, OR Senate, CO Senate, WA House and Senate
* Picked up governors in NH, WA, and likely MT.
5. It's more difficult to vote if you're Latino or African American. In our post-election poll of the general public we asked voters whether they experienced problems when trying to vote.
* While only 4 percent of whites reported problems, 10 percent of African Americans and 7 percent of Latinos reported problems.
* Moreover, 10 percent of Obama voters reported problems while only 2 percent of Romney voters reported problems, and that doesn't even include those for whom problems discouraged them from voting altogether.
* Given this evidence, more study and reform is urgently needed now.
6. Latino political strength is growing. Their overwhelming vote against Romney was a product of both his immigration policies, and a rejection of his economics.
* Latino support for Obama grew over 2008 from 67% to 71%
* This growth was strongest among young Latinos, where support for Obama was 74%
* Latino turnout was up to 10 percent, up from 9 percent in 2008
7. A new era of political focus and targeting has indeed arrived, and progressives are leading the way.
This election was focused on message, and progressive victories come from articulating a strong and clear message of economic progress. But careful testing and targeting played a role in making these cases as effectively as possible.
We at the AFL are proud to have been founders and supporters of key infrastructure elements of this new progressive tool set, and send out thanks to the dedicated and talented teams at the Analyst Institute, Catalist, and our own analytics staff. We also understand that no advantage in this area is permanent - we need to continually invest in new tools and new learning.
8. 2012 holds a strong lesson for incumbents as they look forward to the 2014 contest to hold the Senate and retake the House.
* Candidates who promote policies that put middle class needs front and center can and will prosper even in economically tough times. And labor support of these candidates will prove to be crucial in election outcomes.
* Labor will rally behind candidates who embrace this agenda, but will challenge candidates who veer towards the austerity policies of the right wing.
Original article on Portside.org