The results of candidate contests from Tuesday’s elections clearly favored Republicans. The story from a broad range of ballot measures was more mixed, however, when it comes to determining whether the country is in a more conservative or liberal mood. There were results to please or displease both sides.

Considering policing, Minneapolis voters were given the chance to abolish the city’s police department, replacing it with a new department of public safety that would have used a “comprehensive public health approach.” The ballot measure would also have eliminated the city’s minimum police funding requirement.

Its failure was taken by conservatives that attacking the police was a losing political strategy, even in the city where George Floyd was murdered by an officer last year, triggering a national debate about policing. “Defund the Police is dead,” tweeted Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost. “In Minneapolis, the Home of Defund, the voters say NO.”


Conversely, however, Austin voters rejected a measure that would have expanded its police force, requiring the city to have two patrol officers available for every 1,000 residents. The city had scaled down its police force in an attempt to take a broader approach to public safety. “This election reaffirms our community’s belief that public safety for all requires a comprehensive system that includes properly staffing our police, but also our…

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