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The 11 Biggest Winners of the 2012 Election

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By Cooper Fleishman on November 7, 2012

11. The Obamas


This is now the most retweeted tweet of all time:

10. The LGBT community

It’s hard to believe that just six years ago, all but one Wisconsin county voted to ban same-sex marriage. And now this:

That’s unbelievable progress.

But WI wasn’t the only victory. Maryland and Maine both voted to legalize gay marriage. And Minnesota voted not to ban it. And Obama, the staunchest LGBT ally ever in the Oval Office, was reelected.

9. The disabled

Tammy Duckworth is an Iraq war vet and amputee — and now an Illinois congresswoman. She is the first disabled female veteran elected to the House of Representatives.

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8. Asian-Americans

Mazie Hirono, the senator-elect from Hawaii, will become the first Asian-American woman in the Senate.

7. Massachusetts

There’s been plenty of buzz about Elizabeth Warren, who bested Republican incumbent Scott Brown in a tight race to become the state’s new senator.

Warren, a Harvard Law professor and founder and adviser of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is becoming the middle class’ fiercest defender — and an early favorite for the 2016 Democratic ticket.


“For every family that has been chipped at, squeezed and hammered, we’re gonna fight for a level playing field and we’re gonna put people back to work,” she told a cheering crowd during her acceptance speech. “We’re gonna hold the big guys accountable. … We’re gonna make sure your Medicare and Social Security benefits are protected and that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. And to all the young people who did everything right and are drowning in debt, we’re gonna invest in you.”

6. Cher

No one was happier than her.

5. Pot activists

Last night, Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, making it the first state to end prohibition on the drug.

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4. Women

When Americans are sick of letting middle-aged men legislate women’s bodies, this happens:

Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin. Mazie Hirono, Hawaii. Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota. Claire McCaskill, Missouri (bye, Todd Akin!). Dianne Feinstein, California. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York. Tammy Duckworth, Illinois.

It should come as no surprise that the “legitimate rape” guy and the “rape is god’s will” guy were both, to borrow a phrase, shut down. Nice knowing you, Akin and Mourdock.

3. Hispanics

Anuska Sampedro

The election results in key swing states such as Colorado and Florida hinged on the Latino vote. And “we turned out in droves,” writes Adrianna Quintero. “We voted early and voted our conscience and our experience. Over the next weeks we will pore over these results, but what has been materializing over the past decade is now clear: Our time has come.”

The message to our political leaders is clear: The country is in desperate need of immigration reform, and as long as the GOP aligns itself with extreme anti-immigrant policies, it will fail to find widespread support.

2. Nate Silver

Take a look at the statistician’s predictions vs. the actual election results:

Daily Kos

Fifty out of 50. The guy is always right. Which prompts the valid question, is Nate Silver a witch?

The Atlantic

1. The 47 percent

Voters in Clark County, Ohio. Photo by Scott Keyes/ThinkProgress

Despite huge Republican measures to make voting less accessible in working-class communities, people came out in droves — and waited up to seven hours — to elect Barack Obama. For the second election in a row, our voices were heard.

2008 was historic. This year was conclusive. This is a different America now.

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