John McGreevy, a University of Notre Dame historian, said various state ballot measures provide insights into voter thinking.
Though passed in seven (Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin) of the eight states where they were on the ballot, antigay marriage constitutional amendments didn't energize the Republican faithful like they did in 2004.
Instead, referendums in six states (Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, Ohio and Colorado) to raise the minimum wage passed by large-to-over-whelming margins and appeared to contribute to Democratic victories in closely contested Senate races in Montana and Missouri.In South Dakota, voters rejected a measure that would have outlawed all abortions in the state except those necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, while a hotly contested measure allowing for embryonic stem cell research passed in Missouri by a small margin, despite strong opposition from the state's Catholic bishops.
Voters, said McGreevy
, "were kind of cautious on stem cell research, not enthusiastic about gay marriage, and also cautious, not radical in the sense that they wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade immediately, on abortion."A more narrowly crafted antiabortion measure is likely to have passed in South Dakota, said McGreevy