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Left counters election losses with ballot measure victories

Health care
California’s ballot measure to rein in drug prices aired about 13 percent of all state ballot measure ads, the most TV ads of any state ballot measure in the nation. Drugmakers poured millions into the campaign against Proposition 61, and their efforts seem to have paid off. Though the race hadn’t been called as of midday Wednesday, the opponents had 54 percent of the votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting.

(Update, Nov. 10, 2016, 3:36 p.m.: With final votes tallied, it is clear voters rejected Prop. 61.)

Additionally, an ambitious attempt at giving Colorado universal, single-payer health care via a 10 percent payroll tax lost badly, with nearly 80 percent of the state’s voters rejecting the measure. Opponents, backed by health insurers’ money, spent roughly $1.9 million on TV ads, while Kantar Media/CMAG data show proponents appear to have aired no broadcast TV ads.

Also in Colorado, voters approved physician-assisted suicide. The measure was backed up by roughly $2.1 million in TV advertising. Much of the funding for the “yes” campaign came from the nonprofit group Compassion and Choices Action Network, a group that is working nationwide to expand options for medically assisted death.

Charter school expansion lost in Massachusetts despite roughly $19.4 million in TV ads from supporters compared with $11.8 million spent by union-backed opponents.

Campaign finance
In South Dakota, a measure to overhaul the state’s ethics and campaign finance rules passed by a narrow margin, despite opposition from a coalition led by the state branch of Americans for Prosperity, a group backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch.

Supporters spent roughly $360,000 on last-minute TV ads, while opponents spent about $40,000 on TV airtime. The measure also creates a system of a publicly financed vouchers for voters to give to candidates of their choice — the first of its kind to be enacted at the state level. A similar measure failed in Washington state.

This story was co-published with TIME. 

Correction, 12:54 p.m., Nov. 9, 2016: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the result of a Maine gun control measure. It failed.

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