Well here we go then. Polls have closed in a slew of eastern states (including my own) and the tabulations have begun. Let’s start digging into this thing…
11:17pm: Shutting this thing down now, with congratulations to President Barack Obama. Goodnight.
11:14pm: IT’S OVER. Ohio has been called for Obama, which takes him to 274 electoral votes. Congratulations, Mr. President.
11:11pm: Obama takes Iowa. That’s another 4 electoral votes.
11:04pm: With California closed, and its 55 votes in the president’s column, he’s over 240. Florida, Ohio, and Nevada all remain in play, and they can end this thing.
10:46pm: MN just called for the president.
10:38pm: Howard Fineman is reporting that the entire leadership of the Romney campaign has sequestered itself for the last hour or so, and is not communicating with the outside world. Suicide pact?
10:25pm: Despite the electoral picture, Governor Romney is holding onto a lead in the popular vote count. If this trend holds we might be looking at a split victory – never an encouraging scenario for national unity.
10:17pm: The paths to electoral victory for the respective presidential candidates is solidifying. Assuming that states like California break as expected (and that’s a pretty safe assumption), either Ohio or Florida will put Obama over the top. For Romney, he’ll need a LOT of contested states (most of which he’s currently losing in) to break his way. This thing ain’t over yet, but if Romney’s going to win, he’ll need something close to a miracle.
10:06pm: A new member of the senate next term: Angus King, elected in Maine. He’s independent, and refuses to say which party he’ll caucus with. Most interesting, he made filibuster reform a centerpiece of his campaign. Here’s wishing him success with that.
10:04pm: NBC is calling the electoral tally a tie at the moment: 162/162.
9:57pm: FLA is trending toward Obama. That win would be another huge surprise, and pretty much a deathknell for Mitt Romney’s presidential ambitions.
9:52pm: Obama takes New Hampshire. Decisively. This is my first real surprise tonight.
9:44pm: Elizabeth Warren has won Scott Brown’s senate seat in MA. Good on her.
9:39pm: Another big story tonight: the fortunes that have been wasted by fatcats who backed the wrong horse. Sherrod Brown’s win here in Ohio means that the Chamber of Commerce and Karl Rove’s house of political prostitution has spent $40 million for nothing. If Obama wins, that phenomenon’s increased by an order of magnitude. Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers will have spent a combined quarter billion dollars (at a guesstimate) tilting at their anti-Obama windmills. Stupid bastards might have well just have taken that money out and burned it.
9:36pm: ready to make this prediction: no matter who wins the big race, there won’t be any changes in the makeup of congress: Dems will hold the Senate, GOP will keep the house.
9:31pm: Wisconsin just called for the president, which puts him ahead in the electoral count for the first time of the night.
9:29pm: Revisiting Linda McMahon’s loss in CT – just read that in her final get-out-the-vote-push, her campaign was linking her – in a positive way (!) with president Obama. Never making any mention that she’s a member of the opposition party, or that she supports the challenger. That’s some shifty shit right there. She deserved to lose, and deserved to lose that $100 million she spent on this election.
9:23pm: Romney still ahead in the electoral count of states called thus far, but Obama has closed the margin to about 5. Very dynamic race at this point.
9:20pm: Florida is almost 80% counted, with Obama in the lead by just a couple thousand votes. Very much a must-win for Romney, especially with his mounting losses in the other battleground states.
9:16pm: Pennsylvania, with its 20 electoral votes, just called for the president.
9:13pm: Another as-yet uncalled state to keep your eye on: Virginia. If Romney can’t take Ohio he MUST take Virginia. If he loses both he might as well take off his magic underwear and go to bed.
9:10pm: About 30% of Ohio ballots counted, with Obama leading by nearly 200K. Still too close too call? Weird. But in any case, Romney’s chances in Ohio are slim, and if he loses here his chances nationally are slim to none.
9:05pm: Electoral tally now, depending on who you ask, is around 120 for Obama, 140 for Romney. Still rollin’ on…
9:01pm: Michigan just called for Obama. There goes one of Mitt’s last minute hail-marys. There goes, also, one of his paths to 270.
8:51pm: 22% counted in Ohio, and incumbent senator Sherrod Brown is leading challenger Josh Mandel by about 20 points. Looks like a stompin’ for our ambitious boy-man treasurer.
8:48pm: Addendum to that last – if there’s any other impact from the storm, we might thank the former FEMA administrator Brownie, who foolishly spoke up and in doing so only drew stark distinction between the Obama’s prowess for emergency management, and that of the previous administration.
8:41pm: Discussion underway (MSNBC) as to the political impacts of Hurricane Sandy. I’ve heard that Romney-defeat-apologists have already been quietly blaming Sandy for quashing GOP momentum. I’m not so sure. I think Romney’s defeat, if that’s what’s in the cards, was already in development, and quite self-inflicted. His gyrations in Ohio, where he tried to steal auto-industry votes away by outright misleading the electorate about Jeep and GM, destroyed any chance he had of winning this state. If Sandy had any real effect, it was only piling on.
8:36pm: At great risk to my stellar reputation, I’ll call attention to the prediction I made a couple weeks ago: I projected the president’s reelection, with a 2% margin in the general, and with a squeaky-close margin of 272 electoral votes. Standing by that, but starting to wonder if both margins won’t be much greater.
8:32pm: CT senate race just called: Chris Murphy defeats Linda McMahon. Go figure; she can’t buy a senate seat no matter how hard she tries. She’s probably hankerin’ to hit someone with a folding chair.
8:30pm: MSNBC again; just saw Charlie Crist totally calling out Fla. gov Rick Scott for voter suppression. And he has a point. Seems to me that Scott runs his state like he ran his company: very shadily, and probably illegally.
8:25pm: My own experience: 2.5 hrs waiting line for early voting day before yesterday. It was cold as hell, utterly boring, but it was worth it. Was happy to see very, very few people give up and go home before casting their ballot. The missus voted today at our regular precinct, and reported about 45 minutes waiting. This is all anecdotal, but I think it points to a record turnout.
8:22pm: In that same vein – Howard Fineman (MSNBC) just projected a 75% share of the Latino vote for Obama. Wow.
8:15pm: while we wait, let’s dissect. What conclusions can we draw from the possible outcomes of this election? To begin with, the president’s reelection will say a lot about the shifting demographics of this country. With the majority of the majority (whites) going for Romney, the changing racial makeup of the nation favors the president. Will that make the difference tonight? Too early to say. But as for the next presidential election, and the ones after that – when the aggregate minorities become the majority? That’s a different ballgame. If the GOP continues to alienate these populations, then they’re through as a party that can win national elections.
8:12pm: At this early point most states (and down-ballot races) are still in the “too close to call” category. A few of the early and most reliable states have been called: Vermont, Maine, Georgia, South Carolina – leading to a current electoral count of 64 for the president, 82 for the former governor. A long way to go for both.