According to Chris Matthews, Tuesday's off-year elections were a big win for liberalism. The MSNBC host proclaimed, "From Ohio to Mississippi, from Arizona to New Jersey to Maine and beyond, most voters went the Democrats' way." In fact, Republicans and conservatism won big victories in several states, including Mississippi, Virginia and Ohio.
Matthews could hardly contain himself, opening the show by bubbling, "Leading off tonight, reversal of fortune." What Matthews ignored are these facts: In Virginia, Republicans won 68 state house seats, a super majority and will now effectively control the state senate. In Mississippi, Republican Phil Bryant made history, becoming the first Republican to ever succeed another Republican in the governor's mansion.
Republicans in Mississippi may have won the state house, too. Such a thing has not happened since Reconstruction. A voted ID bill also passed.
Sixty-six percent of Ohioans supported a constitutional amendment banning the mandating of buying health insurance.
Matthews only mentioned that state's health insurance vote, ignoring the other examples. The cable anchor delighted, "So, there you have a pretty good night for the Democrats..."
Certainly, Democrats and liberals had victories. The Democratic governor won in Kentucky. An Ohio bill limiting collective bargaining also went down to defeat.
But to spin Tuesday's results as a mandate for liberalism and the Democratic Party is a stretch.
Matthews even tried to absurdly compare the results to 2010's massive GOP landslide: "Leading off tonight, reversal of fortune. One year ago, the Democrats lost 63 House seats and six Senate seats. But last night, the story was very different."
MSNBC's Martin Bashir tried similar talking points on Wednesday.
A partial transcript can be found below:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Leading off tonight, reversal of fortune. One year ago, the Democrats lost 63 House seats and six Senate seats. But last night, the story was very different. From Ohio to Mississippi, from Arizona to New Jersey to Maine and beyond, most voters went the Democrats' way. The two most significant results in Ohio. Voters rejected governor John Kasich's anti-union legislation by a huge margin. And in Mississippi, the so-called personhood anti-abortion amendment went down to a crushing defeat.
MATTHEWS: In Ohio, by two to one, voters soundly rejected an anti-union law that limited collective bargaining by public employees. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported, quote, "Without question, the results will be viewed as a momentum builder for Democrats nationwide and should encourage President Barack Obama. " In Mississippi, a personhood amendment which would've defined personhood starting at conception was defeated. Had it passed, this amendment would've outlawed all abortions and many forms of contraception. In Arizona, the Republican president of the state senate, who was architect of the state's harsh anti-immigration law lost in a recall election. He's out. And in Maine, voters rejected a law that ended same-day voter registration. There was one defeat for the President. In Ohio, voters went two to one in rejecting the president's health care individual mandate. Voters supported a proposal that says no federal, state, or local law could force a person or employer to participate in the health care system. So, there you have a pretty good night for the Democrats, Mark.