The 2020 elections weren’t just about the White House or Congress. Throughout the country, people also voted on a raft of measures that will directly improve the lives of millions.
From taxing the rich to legalizing marijuana and providing paid leave, voters passed a gamut of progressive ballot initiatives — and not only in blue states.
Marijuana legalization efforts, for example, succeeded everywhere they were on the ballot. In states as varied as New Jersey, Mississippi, Montana and South Dakota, both recreational and medical marijuana initiatives passed easily, reflecting broad bipartisan support for the idea.
We saw similar support for progressive initiatives on taxes and wages.
In Florida, which voted for Donald Trump, a $15 minimum wage initiative got more votes than either Trump or Joe Biden.
While Arizona broke for Biden this year, the state is by no means a liberal stronghold — Biden’s win there was only the second for a Democrat since 1948. Still, voters in the Grand Canyon State approved a tax increase on high earners to boost funding for education. (The state also joined others in voting to legalize marijuana.)
Why are these progressive ideas passing in reddish states?
It’s simple: because people like them. Raising the minimum wage and taxing the wealthy enjoy widespread popularity, as a Fox News exit poll affirmed yet again.
Polling also supports an idea now taking hold in bluer regions: taking action to curb excessive CEO pay.
San Francisco just became the second municipality in the United States to tax companies who pay their CEOs more than 100 times their median employee. The first was Portland, Oregon, whose county just voted this year to also tax high earners to pay for universal pre-K.