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Other winners: Pot, gay marriage & Donnelly

NEED TO KNOW
  • Voters choose to legalize pot
  • Controversial Indiana Senate candidate loses
Voters in Oregon, Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana for adults.

While the Democrats' biggest win of the night was of course the one which guaranteed moving trucks won't be backing up to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for four more years, it was not their only significant victory.

A pair of Republicans' controversial remarks about abortion helped add two Senate seats to the Democrats' election night haul.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill easily defeated Republican challenger Todd Akin, whose comment that women cannot become pregnant from "legitimate rape" led to a torrential backlash. Before declaring that "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down," Akin held a slight lead according to most polls.

Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock also lost Tuesday night, two weeks after saying that women should not be able to abort pregnancies which resulted from being raped because "that it is something that God intended to happen."

In his concession speech to Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly, Mourdock addressed the remarks which likely sunk his bid, but didn't appear to have any regrets telling supporters, "I will look back knowing I was attacked for standing on my principle."

Tuesday night also featured several key ballot measures involving both marijuana and same-sex marriage.

In Massachusetts, voters overwhelmingly approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes by an almost two to one margin. And a similar measure in Arkansas also passed but by a much narrower margin.

Outright legalization of marijuana (in defiance of federal laws) was on the ballot in Oregon, Colorado & Washington.  In all three states, voters chose to defy federal laws and voted to legalize marijuana for adults.  

Voters in Maryland, Minnesota, Washington and Maine all wrestled with the issue of same-sex marriage.  In Minnesota, voters decided not to amend their constitution to define a marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  In Maine, voters decided to repeal a law banning same-sex marriage and allow the state to start issuing marriage licenses to couples of the same gender.

Maryland voters chose to support a state law that affords gay couples the right to marry. And as of 5 a.m. ET, a referendum in Washington State that asked voters to repeal a new state law that legalized same-sex unions is still too close to call. 

For the hard numbers, visit the CNN Election Center's list of Races and Results.

WATCH: Mitt Romney's concession speech

READ: Astrologers predict Obama win

WATCH: President Barack Obama's acceptance speech

PLAY: Match the President to his pet

EDITOR'S NOTE: Earlier, we had the headline "Other winners: Pot, gay marriage & Mourdock." Mourdock lost the election to Joe Donnelly. The correction has been fixed and we apologize for the error.

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