Quite a few pundits are trying to analyze why the propositions to increase state-level minimum wages passed in the same election that was a Republican landslide. So I tweeted "People voted 4 min wage increase b/c they think the game is rigged, want some assurance of immed. imprvmnt + long term regulatory imprvmnt."
To expand that thought beyond 140 characters, most low information voters1 don't understand the problems with increasing the minimum wage (the Republicans/Libertarians can't articulate them well enough to connect with the Average Man), so it sounds like a good idea on its face. They way it gets covered by the mainstream media, it sounds like a vote for increasing the minimum wage will help tough luck folks trying to work, trying eke out a living—and most importantly, not loafing around on the dole.
However, they're pissed at the direction the country's been going for at least the last six years (if not longer), so they want to throw out the party in charge. Thus the Democrats have got to go, even though they've merely continued (or expanded upon) much of the crony capitalism that came before them.
Folks realize, though, that even a landslide of new, motivated Republicans2 in office can't change Washington overnight. Putting the two sentiments together, you get votes in favor of both increasing the minimum wage for it's short-term effect, and for replacing the incumbent party for the long-term effect.
This election wasn't a mandate for Republican policy. It was a protest against the status quo, constrained by a two-party framework.
(1) I don't use this term disparagingly. I use it to refer to folks who are busy holding down jobs and raising families, who surf the headlines and maybe occasionally catch the news on TV/radio/the newspaper. They aren't geeking out on political issues.
(2) If such a thing exists. I remain unconvinced that even the new crop of Republicans will be able to roll back the devastating policies of the last six years, nor tackle the entrenched corruption of crony capitalism. I'd love to be surprised, however.