A lot of attention has been paid to the effect of Bush, the war, etc. on the outcome of the election. In North Carolina, I think it is clear that trade was a much bigger issue than anything else in the Shuler and Kissell races. Now Public Citizen is attempting to link the gains nationwide to the issue of trade.
Public Citizen put together a report detailing a number of races where fair-trade candidates won in districts where they were underdogs, such as NC-11.
Their tally of results:
Net fair trade gain of 2006 Mid-Term Election:
House races where fair traders replaced anti-fair traders: 16 (ten pending)
Senate races where fair traders replaced anti-fair traders: 6
House races where fair traders took open seats vacated by anti-fair traders: 11
Senate races where fair traders took open seats vacated by anti-fair traders: 1
House races where anti-fair traders replaced fair traders: 0
Senate races where anti-fair traders replaced fair traders: 0
And their prediction on the future:
Given the major fair trade pick-up in the 2006 midterm elections, the saliency of the trade issue will
have significant ramifications for the 2008 presidential election and beyond. The 2006 midterms
show that to win, future national tickets cannot feature those touting the NAFTA-WTO trade model.
While these are definitely good results and wishful thinking for '08, they are skewed by the fact that there was a general Democratic gain in all nationwide races. I am sure that there were gains for pro-civil rights and pro-choice politicians also. I would like to see fair-trade be a premier issue in future elections, but the proof for that will need to come in future elections.
For now lets support fair-trade because it is the right thing for our country. If it picks up some more seats for populist minded politicians all the better. Especially the most populist of them all.