It's the morning after the night before, and here's our sense of who won and who lost last night (also be sure to check out Mark Silk's first take on Election 2012):
Hawaii: The state that gave us our first black president is now sending the first Buddhist (and first Asian-American woman) to the U.S. Senate, Mazie Hirono, and the first Hindu to the House, Tulsi Gabbard. Both are Democrats. Here's our pre-election preview of Gabbard.
Roy Moore: The combative "Ten Commandments" judge who lost his seat as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2003 for refusing to remove his 5,200-pound granite monument will return to the same office, winning 52 percent of the vote.
Mormons: Even though Mitt Romney will remain the first Mormon nominee and not the first Mormon president, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints survived intact, making inroads with evangelicals (Billy Graham!) and emerging relatively unscathed. Saith respected Mormon scribe Peggy Fletcher Stack: "Romney’s run did alter some views: He won nearly the entire Bible Belt, dominated by evangelical Christians who long have been suspicious of Mormonism and critical of LDS theology."
Elizabeth Warren: The take-no-prisoners consumer advocate and Harvard professor reclaimed Ted Kennedy's old Senate seat in Massachusetts from Scott Brown, 54 to 46 percent. While Warren wasn't a religious candidate per se, she framed her fight for the middle class and against Wall Street in starkly moral terms -- a winning formula that Democrats will be looking to replicate elsewhere.
Nuns on the Bus: The socially justice-minded Nuns on the Bus never endorsed President Obama in so many words, but they certainly came out strongly against fellow Catholic Paul Ryan and his GOP budget. At the end of the day, Catholic voters seemed to side with the nuns' and Joe Biden's we're-all-in-this-together version of Catholic social justice teaching over Ryan's go-it-alone social gospel inspired by Ayn Rand.
Gay marriage: For the first time ever, gay marriage won at the ballot box, in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota. It may well yet win in Washington state. What's different this time: in Maryland and Washington (and, in a backwards way, Maine), voters reaffirmed the state legislature's support of gay marriage. Minnesota's notable because it's the first time voters rejected a state constitutional amendment to keep gays and lesbians from getting married. Southern Baptist Al Mohler tweeted it as "a fundamental moral realignment of the country."
The 'Nones': OK, maybe they're not winners in the traditional sense, but after making up the largest share of Obama's religious coalition, unaffiliated and secular voters seemed to show they can help pick a winner: Obama won more than half of those who seldom or never attend religious services, and a full 70 percent of the religiously unaffiliated, according to CNN's exit polls.
Michele Bachmann: The Minnesota congresswoman, one-time presidential candidate and darling of (some) evangelicals eked out a razor-thin win to keep her seat in Congress, though the possibility of a recount looms.
Capital Punishment: California voters rejected, 53 to 47 percent, a referendum that would have ended the death penalty in the nation's largest state.
Archbishop John Nienstedt: The fiery Twin Cities archbishop embodied the Catholic bishops' full-throated opposition to same-sex marriage; a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex victory in Minnesota lost, 52 to 48 percent. It's the first time a constitutional amendment has lost at the ballot box after a 33-0 record.
Ralph Reed: The one-time boy wonder of the Christian Coalition and the current director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition promised a massive evangelical showing at the polls to move Mitt and Ann Romney into the White House. Evangelicals certainly voted, but not in the numbers he promised that would carry the day. CT's quick look: evangelical voters up in Mississippi, Ohio and Nevada; stable in Florida, Alabama, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri and Colorado; down in Indiana, Minnesota and Kansas.
Archbishop William Lori: As the point man on the Catholic bishops' Religious Liberty campaign, the Baltimore archbishop looked to rally Catholic voters against the Obama White House's contraception mandate. Catholics, as they usually do, sided with the winner, this time 50 to 48 percent, according to exit polls. Lori also lost his bid to keep Maryland from OK'ing gay marriage.
Knights of Columbus: The Catholic fraternal order was a major funder of gay marriage fights in Maine, Minnesota, Washington and Maryland, giving at least $2.5 million to the National Organization for Marriage, according to a coalition of gay rights groups. And what did they get? They lost Maine, Minnesota and Maryland, and appear likely to lose Washington.
Shmuley Boteach: Oprah's pop culture "Kosher Sex" rabbi, Shmuley Boteach, was trounced in his Republican bid for a New Jersey congressional seat, losing to incumbent Bill Pascrell by winning just one in four votes.
Sheldon Adelson: The Jewish mega-donor to GOP causes spent upwards of $20 million on Romney-backed PACs, and several million more on other candidates, most of whom lost. The Forward calls Tuesday "a tough night" for the casino magnate, who bet against the (White) House and lost.
Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock: The two Republican Senate candidates (and one-time shoe-ins) both lost after stumbling over rape. Democrat Claire McCaskill shut that whole thing down in Missouri, beating the outspoken evangelical Akin 55 to 39 percent. Mourdock lost in Indiana to Democrat Joe Donnelly, 50 to 44 percent. Akin, you'll recall, said pregnancy rarely results from "legitimate rape," and Mourdock said women who get pregnant from rape should accept it as "something God intended." In his concession speech, Akin said God "makes no mistakes." His followers, well, that's another story. As The Atlantic put it, "The GOP's Rape Apologist Caucus Did Not Fare Well Tonight."
Billy (or Franklin?) Graham: The legendary evangelist turns 94 today, but his latter-day unsuccessful pseudo-endorsement of Mitt Romney now threatens to tarnish his legacy. The elder Graham perhaps helped deliver his native North Carolina back to the GOP this time around, and helped pass a statewide ban on same-sex marriage in May, but his national reach was limited. Plus he has a lot of evangelicals really fuming.
Doctor-assisted suicide: Massachusetts voters rejected a bid to become the third state to allow doctor-assisted suicide by the closest of margins, about 38,000 votes. Chalk that up as a win for Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, who campaigned against the measure.
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-- Kevin Eckstrom