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AP’s Roundup of Tuesday State Elections: Status Quo in N.C., Miss.

By the Associated Press:
For all the frustration surrounding the economy, voters refused to throw incumbent parties out of governors’ and most big-city mayors’ offices, and they turned back an Ohio law that aimed to ease grinding budget problems by restricting the union rights of public employees.
In the heart of the Bible Belt, a Mississippi initiative that would have defined life as beginning at fertilization also went down to defeat, ending a plan to use it to challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that established the right to abortion.
Across the nation, voters’ last major judgments of 2011 were sure to be closely analyzed for any clues about the public’s political mood just two months ahead of the first presidential primary and nearly four years into the worst economic slowdown since the Depression.
Kentucky’s Democratic governor easily won another term, and Mississippi voters kept their governor’s office in GOP hands — decisions that suggested many Americans were not ready to abandon the parties in power.
In Ohio, a hotly debated new law that severely limited the bargaining rights of more than 350,000 teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public employees was repealed with more than 60 percent of the vote. The defeat was a stinging blow to Gov. John Kasich and cast doubt on other Republican governors who have sought union-limiting measures as a means to curb spending.
“Ohio sent a message to every politician out there: Go in and make war on your employees rather than make jobs with your employees, and you do so at your own peril,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said.

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