Reid Hangs On, Oklahoma Rejects Sharia Law: Racist Fearmongering's Mixed Day At the Ballot-Box

Ballot measures and attack ads denigrating Muslims and drumming up fear had some unfortunate measure of success last night, but this kind of nasty strategy did not make a difference across the board.

In a resultthat was hardly a shocker, voters in Oklahoma put their feet down in favor of a ballot measure against instituting Sharia law in their state, by a marginof nearly 40 points. They also agreed to a ballot measure to make English their official language for state government business. Liberal commentators agreed that this pair of ballot measures were designed to foster paranoia about a foreign takeover in the heartland, while the League of Women Voters saidthe English-only measure was highly discriminatory.

Speaking of paranoia and discrimination, North Carolina candidate Renee "Victory Mosque" Ellmers, she of the "most blatantly anti-Muslim" advertisement of the season which used the Downtown Islamic Center in New York as its conspiracy-laden centerpiece, squeaked our her own election victory last night.

But the universal success of raising the specter of some sort of foreign menace is far from clear. After all, Nevada voters rejectedSharron Angle, who had been doing her best to race-bait her way to a senate seat with her own set of ads suggesting that illegal immigrants were coming for jobs.

More likely, the economy was as big an issue for voters as racial anxieties. But that won't stop the GOP from dipping into their time-honored, Atwater-honed strategy in the next round of elections.

Watch Ellmers and Angle's ads below.

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AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at November 3, 2010, 2:32am

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