So-called “off-year” elections are often important to political analysts hoping to get a read on voter mood before a major election cycle. Tuesday night’s results seem to have given them a lot to think about.

In Ohio, voters sharply rejected Republican Gov. John Kasich’s proposal to limit the collective bargaining rights of teachers, firefighters, police and other public workers. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Ohio “sent a message to every politician out there: Go in and make war on your employees rather than make jobs with your employees, and you do so at your own peril.”

Gov. Kasich seemed a bit shell shocked by the results, saying, “I respect what people have to say. It requires me to take a deep breath, you know, and to spend some time reflecting on what happened here.”

Also in Ohio, voters approved a ballot issue that would exempt residents from the 2010 federal health care law’s requirements that people buy medical insurance — a result that will likely face a court challenge.

Mississippi residents defeated a ballot issue deemed the “Personhood” amendment that defined life as beginning “from the moment of fertilization” and would’ve essentially outlawed abortion and some birth control methods. The same measure previously failed twice in Colorado.

In Maine, a law passed in June that abolished the state’s nearly four-decade-old policy of allowing people to register to vote the same day of an election was repealed, restoring same-day registration.

And in Arizona, state Sen. Russell Pearce, who authored Arizona’s controversial immigration law, was ousted in a recall led by a fellow Republican.

[USA Today]