POLITICS
11/04/2014 10:28 pm ET Updated Nov 05, 2014

Wisconsin Governor Election Results Show Scott Walker Winning Over Mary Burke

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) won re-election after a close race in which Democrats were holding out hope that they would be able to knock off a potential 2016 presidential contender.

Mary Burke, a businesswoman and political novice, surprised many observers when polls showed that she was running neck and neck with Walker up until the end. Democrats hammered the governor on his record on job creation, women's rights and a lingering ethics scandal, while Republicans accused Burke of outsourcing jobs and tried to tie her to national Democrats and President Barack Obama.

Walker has slipped out of Democrats' grasp in the past, surviving a recall election in 2012. First elected in the tea party wave in 2010, he has been high on Democrats' most-wanted list since he went after union rights in 2011. His efforts polarized the state and infuriated labor activists, making him a rising star for the conservative movement.

Walker, however, seemed worried about his re-election chances up until the end, saying he needed more help from the Republican Governors Association.

But the race always remained a top priority for the party, according to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who is also from Wisconsin. He recently told Slate that it would not be a "good night" if Republicans took back the Senate but Walker lost.

"Walker represents not just the future of Wisconsin," he said, "but the future of our party and the future of people that make promises and keep promises, and whether they can be rewarded for doing those things.”

National Democrats also came in to help Burke, with campaign appearances from Obama and the first lady, as well as former President Bill Clinton. Burke put $5 million of her own money into the race, and outside groups gave millions to the effort to boost Walker. According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, it's likely that more than $60 million was spent on the race.

A loss would have dealt a serious blow to Walker's national ambitions. In September, he refused to commit to serving a full four-year term if re-elected.

But immediately after his win, Walker told The Associated Press that a decision on whether he will run for president "will have to wait" while he focuses on state matters.

"In a second term, we will move forward with policies aimed at helping people keep more of their paychecks through continued property and income tax relief, helping people learn more to earn more through worker training, and helping move people from government dependence to true independence through work," Walker said in a statement. "Our number one goal over this next term is to ensure that everyone who wants a job, can find a job."

This post has been updated with statements from Walker.

See below for more elections news:

11/05/2014 8:27 AM EST

Christie: GOP Wins Show Focus On Leadership

The AP reported Wednesday:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says Republican victories in governor's races across the country show voters want leaders who will "get things done," rather that fighting over ideology.

Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association and a possible 2016 candidate for president, said he was gratified by GOP wins in Democratic-leaning states such as Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois, as well as victories in key swing states like Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Christie said voters "elect and re-elect governors to get things done."

Christie, who campaigned for GOP candidates across the country, said the winners deserve the credit, not him. He said elections are "always about the candidate."

Christie spoke Wednesday on NBC's "Today" show, ABC's "Good Morning America" and Fox News Channel.

11/05/2014 7:46 AM EST

President Obama To Address Midterm Results In Afternoon Press Conference

President Barack Obama will speak to the press Wednesday afternoon to address his party's resounding loss in the 2014 midterm elections, according to White House press secretary Josh Earnest. He is expected to strike a tone of compromise and accountability following a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate and many of the nation's gubernatorial offices.

Obama tried reached out to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who is widely expected to be the next senate majority leader and who also won re-election Tuesday night, and left a message, CNN reported.

The president's press conference will take place at 2:50 p.m. Eastern time from the East Room of the White House.

Igor Bobic

11/05/2014 6:57 AM EST

Indictment, Dog Killing, Infidelity Overcome By GOP Candidates

How bad was it for Democrats? Rep. Michael Grimm, a Republican facing a 20-count indictment won in New York and another known for outbursts of rage and killing a beagle, Mike Bost, won a seat in President Barack Obama's home state of Illinois that had been Democratic for 70 years.

Down in Tennessee, Rep. Scott DesJarlais' past infidelities and pushing of abortion on a mistress continued to not matter to voters, who handed him a landslide victory.

There were a couple of bright spots for Democrats, or at least the more moderate crowd. Florida Rep. Steve Southerland lost to Democrat Gwen Graham after holding an all-male fundraiser and joking about Graham in lingerie. And in Louisiana, GOP Rep. Vance McAllister, dubbed the "Kissing Congressman" after he was caught on tape smooching a staffer, finished far back in the field in his contest.

-- Michael McAuliff

11/05/2014 5:24 AM EST

Expect A Delay In Results

11/05/2014 5:07 AM EST

Alaska Becomes 4th State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

In yet another major pushback against the war on drugs, Alaska legalized recreational marijuana on Tuesday, joining Oregon and Washington, D.C. -- both of which legalized cannabis only hours before. Alaska becomes the fourth state in the U.S. to legalize retail marijuana, along with Oregon, Colorado and Washington state.

Voters approved Measure 2, which legalizes the possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana. Adults, age 21 and older, may possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants (with no more than three being mature) for personal use. The measure also legalizes the manufacture, sale and possession of marijuana paraphernalia, such as devices used for smoking or storing the plant.

“The folks trying to keep marijuana illegal are relying on the same scare tactics today that they have relied on for decades, but voters just aren’t falling for it anymore," Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement early Wednesday morning. "The results are particularly encouraging since voter turnout during a midterm election is typically smaller, older, and more conservative. Clearly, support for ending marijuana prohibition spans the political and ideological spectrums."

Read more here.

-- Matt Ferner

11/05/2014 4:28 AM EST

Ah, Politics... Chicago-Style

11/05/2014 3:40 AM EST

Sarah Palin To GOP: You Didn't Build This

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin took to Facebook last night to issue a hearty congratulations -- and warning -- to her GOP brethren:

Thank you, wise voters! Tonight is a big victory for We the People! Credit is due to the victorious candidates. Your message to President Obama is undeniably received, though he'll try to ignore it.

...

The Democrats got mauled today, deservedly so. To prohibit that from happening to the GOP in 2016, it must learn the lesson from the last time Republicans held the Senate majority. This time they must not retreat, and it's our responsibility to hold them accountable. Will they fight for reform that aligns with the limited government planks of the Republican platform, or will they return to the big government cronyism and status quo favored by the permanent political class? Will they drain the swamp or decide the D.C. cesspool is really just a jacuzzi they can't wait to jump on into and shake us off?

If GOP leadership returns to business as usual, then this majority will be short lived, for We the People say, “once bitten, twice shy.”

Click here to read the full statement.

11/05/2014 2:55 AM EST

Alaska Approves Minimum Wage Increase

11/05/2014 2:39 AM EST

Alaska Rep. Don Young Projected To Win 22nd Term

The Associated Press is projecting that Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) will win re-election as Alaska's only member of Congress.

--Sam Levine

11/05/2014 2:36 AM EST

Voter Turnout In The U.S. Is Always Awful.. And This Year Was No Different

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