1) Healthcare services. Originally called "healthcare freedom," this proposal was passed by the GOP Legislature as a result of President Obama’s healthcare law. Mostly symbolic and conflicting with the new federal law, the measure would have banned the state from mandating health-insurance purchases. Voters rejected it 49-51 percent.
2) Government revenue cap. This was designed to limit the amount of money the state received by limiting its revenue to a formula based on inflation and population changes. Voters rejected it 58-42 percent.
3) Abortion services. This proposal sought to prohibit what wasn’t being done in Florida: prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion. It also sought to strike a privacy-rights clause in the Constitution cited in cases that uphold abortion rights. Voters rejected it 45-55 percent.
4) Religious freedom. Private religious schools seeking more government money would have received more of it with the passage of this amendment, which struck a church-and-state separation clause in the state Constitution. Voters rejected it 45-56 percent.
What’s more, Florida tea party enemy No. 1, the outspoken and liberal Democrat Alan Grayson, won election in a newly drawn congressional seat in Central Florida. The other new congressional seat, in South Florida, was won by former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, who had a relatively easy time dispatching her opponent, Adam Hasner, who had briefly run as a tea party conservative in the race to unseat Sen. Bill Nelson.
Nelson won handily, beating Congressman Connie Mack 55-42 percent. Mack’s campaign largely focused on calling Nelson a "lockstep liberal" — a line of attack that made the Republican seem like a partisan in a season when many voters want politicians to stop acting like political hatchet men.
Tuesday’s results indicate that the electorate in Florida wants a little more balance.
Where Republicans say no taxes should be raised, 57 percent of Floridians say that the wealthy at least should spend a little more, exit polls showed. Voters were more likely to believe that Obama’s policies favored the middle class when compared to Romney’s, which would be of more benefit to the rich.
But Florida voters are obviously not wild about Obama, either, and he’s the head of the Democratic Party.
Obama’s healthcare law, for instance wasn’t formally rejected by way of the anti-Obamacare amendment, voters in Florida disfavor the law. About 48 percent wanted at least some aspects of Obamacare repealed; 40 percent want to leave it as is or to expand it.
Asked if government should do more to solve problems, 40 percent said yes and 50 percent said no.
So while Democrats can exult in their Florida win Tuesday, they can remember that Republicans were feeling just as triumphant in 2010. And before that, in 2008, Democrats were enjoying Obama’s first historic win.
The differences between each of those elections? Turnout. Democrats, who outnumber registered Republicans in Florida, didn’t show in 2010 while the GOP over-performed. Democrats typically under-perform in gubernatorial election years in Florida, which is why the GOP controls the state Capitol.
"The Obama organization showed up Tuesday and the Republicans did not to the same degree," Plakon said. "Now the next two years begins."
That’s a good indication tea party conservatism is far from over. It’s just taking a break. Florida voters thought it needed one.