The US Capitol is seen in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 5, 2014.
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

Readers respond to 2014 midterm elections


On Election Day, users expressed frustration with the quality of the candidates, concern over a disconnect in the electorate between issues and party, and shared mixed opinions on gun control and marijuana legalization. 

Frustration with candidates

11/5/14, 12:11 AM ET

Is it the messages that didn't appeal to voters?

Karine Jean-Pierre discusses the Democrats losses in the 2014 midterms and whether there are bigger questions that need to be answered about the candidates and the messages that they are sending.
bodhidaveMaybe these latest voting results will give cause for prospective leaders to put PR polls and focus group findings more to the side, and really speak to and run on their actual convictions.

Ilene from IllinoisMy friends and I all in our 70s and 80s were out there canvassing and phone banking for months and for Democrats. What we needed were candidates who would stand with the president and not be weak and scared.

08willow: I love the diversity in the likely new Senate committee chairs. Look at all the minorities represented … #snark

PurplestatekittyWe don’t hate Obama in Colorado. Udall ran a crappy campaign and he got the votes he deserved. Gardner lied about his record. Nothing more to add.

AgingDiva: It saddens me that in this country people that firmly believe the Earth is only 5,000 years old are considered leadership material.

IAMMYOWNWOMAN: In Udall’s case he was afraid to bring up the Latino issue because of the negativity about immigration on the part of the Republicans. He should have just gone with his heart, not his fear.

DogjudgeSo would the Democrats have been more successful if they had been more aggressive in pushing their agendas through? While I voted both times for the president, I do have to say that I’ve been extremely disappointed in his accomplishments. And don’t tell me about the House and the Senate. Reagan had to deal with the Democrats being against him and used his office as a bully pulpit to get things done. One comment that was made early on about President Obama versus, say, an Al Sharpton, was that Obama was much less confrontational in his approach to things. One can only wonder.

Issues vs. party

jbloe: The funny thing is that, in most cases, when issues are on the ballot, people tend to vote Democratic. When candidates are on the ballot, things are “mixed.” Apparently, people do not clearly understand what party represents which issues.

TheBugManGiven the outcome last night, a federal minimum wage hike from Congress is a lost cause; don’t even bring it up. Instead, get it on the ballot in those states who don’t have one yet. If the state legislatures are truly bodies which represent the people, then let the people speak, and don’t oppose it (it may come back to haunt some legislators).

The Rachel Maddow Show, 11/5/14, 10:47 PM ET

Colorado's John Hickenlooper discusses his re-election squeaker

Newly re-elected governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, talks with Rachel Maddow about his very narrow victory, the loss by Mark Udall to Cory Gardner, the politics of gun laws, and his plans for Colorado in his second term.
Ixnay66I live in Colorado and I couldn’t believe Cory Gardner won. We can’t blame this on voter suppression either because we have a 100% mail-in ballot. It seems that ballot measures that are voted down, like personhood here in Colorado, mean nothing when electing officials. We vote down personhood but vote in Cory Gardner who believes in it as well as making abortion illegal, including instances of rape and incest. In Kentucky, voters want to raise the minimum wage but vote for Mitch McConnell, who is against a minimum wage increase. I just don’t get it.

Jared BergmanI am very happy the republicans did so well last night, but I am also becoming afraid that pro-life people will start to gain traction. People like choice, why take it away? How do abortions that strangers receive effect other people’s lives? I do not understand that.

Washington state voters passed Initiative 594, a measure that will require criminal background checks on all firearm sales and transfers in the state.

Davey Williams: The law will reduce gun crime, as this law has done elsewhere. But it is also a boon to Washington state gun sellers, who have been playing by the rules and cooperating with state laws while out of state sellers enjoyed an unfair advantage. I am pro-smart gun laws, balancing a state’s constitutional obligations to both freedom and crime reduction, but I’m also pro-small business. Whatever else we might say, score one for a level playing field.

Den1953: One has to wonder why any law abiding citizen should fear a background check. Many social services check one’s background – mortgage loans, car loans, etc. What principle would apply for someone to hide there identity from a firearm holder, unless you are guilty of a previous crime?

TheTruthHurtsHuh?: Grasping at straws, are we? This is no win, really. Do you believe for one minute that this will even make a dent in gun violence? Criminals don’t obtain guns “legally.” They’ll still do it the way they’ve been doing it … the illegal way. Here’s an idea. Why don’t we concentrate on mental health awareness? Seems like that would go a lot further. 

Oregon voted to legalize recreational marijuana use and Washington D.C. approved a “grow or give” system for citizens to use it for personal use. 

Franklin EliasGreat we got people smoking pot to forget what a mess Congress is. Tough times ahead.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 11/5/14, 10:42 PM ET

GOP Congress' 'small government' principle tested by DC pot vote

Rachel Maddow reminds viewers of the student who once got in trouble for advocating marijuana use in Alaska, which legalized pot on Tuesday, and wonders how ‘small government’ Republicans will vote on Washington, D.C.’s marijuana legalization.
John-2828835: In Florida, 57% approved medical use, but that was not enough because 60% was needed. Sixty percent was needed because it’s in the state’s constitution. It should be legal, and for recreational as well as medicinal use. Far too much effort and resources are wasted on a thing that ought to be nobody’s business but your own. 

VincentFissore: It seems that all measures linked to minimum wage increases and marijuana have passed with flying colors. A sign that Americans are becoming economically social-Democrat and socially libertarian.

How did you feel as the results rolled in on Tuesday? Let us know in the comments.

Some comments have been edited for clarity.

Midterm Elections 2014, Decision 2014 and Election Night 2014

Readers respond to 2014 midterm elections