The defeat of the Mississippi anti-abortion measure and Ohio voters’ rejection of an anti-union law were the big political news of election night, but there was more heartening news. Arizona voters apparently recalled the legislator who was the architect of the state’s anti-immigration law. Iowa voters turned back a Republican takeover of the Senate, a move built on the promise of restoring a ban on same-sex marriage in that state. Many incumbents on both sides of the political divide were re-elected.

I wouldn’t begin to propose a theme for a mixed list of outcomes. But the absence of a Tea Party/extremist domination theme is a step in the right direction from 2010. Not a great night for the Kochs, in other words.