*2:00am: I think this will be my last post of the night. There is a warm bed and great partner waiting to curl up in and next to, and I can’t pass that up.
As I sign off tonight, this is what remains:
-50% of the precincts have been reported in CA. The YES on Prop 8 campaign is still ahead by 6% of the vote. If this holds, thousands of couples who went to sleep as married will wake up not being married…for the sole reasons that their fellow Americans have decided that they are not worthy of the obligations and privilieges available to others. Pray for change.
-The MN Senate race remains too close to call. It’ll be a day or more before we know for sure. Either way, the Democrats will not have a 60 vote majority in the Senate. In my estimate, that is a good thing.
-NC and MO remain too close to call in the presidential election. It doesn’t matter with regard to the bottom line, but it does for those of us hoping to boost our ego by having accurate predictions.
It’s been a wonderful day. Thanks for participating. I hope to talk more soon.
*1:31am: We predicted from the very beginning that the MN Senate race would be the tightest in the country. Right now w/ 94% of the vote reporting, 3.8 million votes have been cast, and the candidates are separated by 78 votes. 78 votes. Wow. This will go to a recount no matter what. We won’t find out if the SNL star will become a Senator until tomorrow or beyond.
*1:26am: A late night thought: How far right will this election bring the Republican party? I do not think that Obama’s election and the election of many more Democrats in Congress is a sign that the country is becoming more politically liberal. Instead, I think it is a sign that the Republican party has become more conservative, such that the moderates have fled the ship. The fleeing of the moderates means that the party is filled will a larger percentage from the ideological fringe.
This is how we may have a Palin presidential candidacy in 2012. I do not how long I could advocate for that party at the national level.
*1:23pm: I hope folks who stopped by today to mingle for the election come back tomorrow so that we can continue this conversation. Tomorrow will include a recap of the results, a comparison to the predictions, and more reactions.
*1:13pm: Our eyes now turn to Prop 8: with 35% of the precincts reporting, the YES campaign is ahead by 6%. I will likely stay awake and active until we know more.
*12:18pm: As the night wanders on, we can announce verdicts for the ballot propositions that have been discussed on this blog. For those of us who are fighting for equality, it is discouraging. Both Arizona and Florida amended their Constitutions to deny gay couples the right to marry. Even more tragic, Arkansas banned gay couples from adopting children and taking in foster childen.
I’m struck by these numbers, especially in comparison to the historic meaning of the night. We have elected an African-American president; a testament to the jagged progress made in America over several generations. It’s daunting to consider the road that Barack Obama has traversed in this campaign, built upon the progress made by countless advocates over generations. Yet, as Obama specifically alluded to tonight, today represents the ability to change, not the change itself.
For those of us inspired by Obama’s message, we must recognize what it means for us now, those of us who are sitting on the brink of our adult life. We could look back on today and think that we are lucky to have inherited a world that is better than the one our parents received. We could look back on today and think that we’ve ‘made it’ in every sense of the phrase. We could look back on today and think that we do not have any struggles of our own that compare to those of the past.
We must not be so naive. Obama’s message to us tonight was that we are capable of doing the work that needs to be done, not that we have actually done that work.
Tonight we elected an African-American President and at the same time elected to deny people like me the right to raise children in need. Tonight we elected to look beyond the color of a candidate’s skin and at the same time elected to deny loving couples the right to be treated equally. Tonight is a symbol of progress and tomorrow we begin to make more.
Let’s keep going.
*12:10pm: A general thought to consider; it’s been much considered in the build up to this election: Does Obama’s win represent a shift of leadership away from the baby-boomers to a new generation? As Chuck Todd succienctly put it: No Vietnam War vets became President, but a product of the civil rights movement has.
*11:50pm: Marc Ambinder has posted Obama’s full speech. Read it HERE.
*11:40: So what about Prop 8? As Tracie rightly points out in comments, it seems like the YES on Prop 8 campaign is ahead. However, it is still too early to be worried just yet; we still only have 17% of the vote in. The exit polls (and remember how unreliable they are) do show that the NO campaign would win 52-48. Andrew Sullivan discusses what he knows about the current status:
Every ethnic group supported marriage equality, except African-Americans, who voted overwhelmingly against extending to gay people the civil rights once denied them: a staggering 69 – 31 percent African-American margin against marriage equality. That’s worse than even I expected. Whites, on the other hand, clearly rejected discrimination: 55 to 45 percent. Latinos were evenly split. But what matters, of course, is the margin of all the votes. It’s still an exit poll, and those polls sometimes under-estimate anti-gay sentiment. So no assurance. But some provisional hope. If marriage endures in California, this debate is over – in America and the world.
Oh, and there was no gender gap. And a massive generation gap: the under-30s voted for marriage equality by 67 to 31 percent. The over 65s voted for discrimination by 57 – 43 percent.
*11:27pm: President-Elect Barack Obama finshed speaking about 4 miles south of where I sit. It seemed like he was standing in my living room. I was inspired; truly inspired. As someone who follows politics like a job, its rare that I can get wrapped up in a moment and experience it as it is suppose to be experienced. I was wrapped up tonight. This is a moment that matters.
I love this country.
*10:49pm: A few more things to clean up: Obama will speak soon; Mark Kirk seems to have won big to keep his seat; I will be looking at THIS BLOG to follow the ballot initiatives in AK, AZ, FL, and Prop 8 in CA.
*10:36pm: Still on the watch list: Prop 8 in CA and the MN Senate race b/w Al Franken & Norm Coleman
With 5% of the vote in, Prop 8 is up big. But its still very early, I’m not reading anything into this.
The Franken/Coleman race is literally dead even with about 45% in. Right now, Al Franken is up by a nose.
*10:29pm: I’m very impressed with McCain’s concession. Generous. Direct. Honest. Strong. There is still much that we previously loved about John McCain left in his grizzled frame.
*10:14pm: McCain has conceeded officially. He wil speak very soon.
Keep your eyes and ears open for news on Proposition 8. Results will trickle in.
*10:11pm: What a moment. Soak it up.
*10:00pm: OFFICIALLY OVER! President-Elect Barack Obama
*9:52pm: The amendment to ban gay marriage in AZ is ahead big 58%-42%. More bad news for anyone intersting gay equality. Let’s hope this isn’t an indicator for Prop 8 in CA.
*9:46pm: In 14 minutes, Obama will officially cross the 270 mark.
*9:41pm: With 23% of precincts reporting, the Arkansas Act 2 is AHEAD 57%-43%. This is the act that would bar gay and lesbian couples from adopting or taking in foster children. Let’s pray that these are skewed results. This would be tragically misguided.
*9:34pm: Chuck Todd also makes two great points:
(1) Obama could very well take 1 of the 2 NB electoral votes (they are one of two states that allocate by Congressional district)
(2) Obama’s organization was strengthened in key states like IN and NC, because he had intense primary battles with HIllary. Without those primary battles, he very well may not have had the organizational strength to compete there.
*9:31pm: Chuck Todd says that even though it isn’t called yet, Obama will take FL.
*9:24pm: Anyone watching local Chicago news is likely noticing that there are big Cook Co. problems with reading the actually votes. The mechanical counting equipment is malfunctioning. Oy.
*9:18pm: In IL-11, Halvorson (D) is crushing Ozinga by about 22% at this point.
*9:13pm: Some exit poll data on the ‘youth vote.’ First, the % of the overall vote that was the youth stays the same from 2004 (about 17%). However, the youth vote has increased as a percentage in swing states like VA and PA, with the youth vote encompassing about 3% more in each of these states.
Remember, these are % of the total vote, NOT overall ‘youth’ turnout. In other words, in some swing states the youth vote was a bigger piece of the pie.
*9:12pm: As Andrew Sullivan reminds us, the FL gay marriage amendment requires a 60% margin to actually pass. So it is not hopeless yet.
*9:07pm: Right now, we are at 207-129. But the remaining states will in large part go to Obama. Right now the ‘too close to call’ states: FL, VA, NC, IN, MO, AZ, MT, MS.
McCain should end up with MS, MO, and MT. Obama I think will get FL, and NC. It could go either way in IN and VA.
Though, in the end, it’s academic. Obama will be the next President of the United States.
*9:00pm: The end of the hour, more closing polls: IA to Obama (that was a Bush state in 2004); TX for McCain. Both NV and MT not yet called. Though NV will likely end up in Obama’s column.
*8:58pm: In IL-10 w/ 35% in, Kirk (R) is still leading Seals (D) by about 8%.
*8:49pm: The Amendment 2 status in FL (amendment to ban gay marriage), with 53% in: the amendment is UP 62% to 38%. Oy.
*8:40pm: We are now beginning to get these types of headlines from major blogs, from Time magazine: “President-Elect Barack Obama”
*8:36pm: As a reminder, OH and NM were the first states that Obama has won that Kerry lost 4 years ago. So, the only way McCain can win is to pick up states that Kerry won in 2004. There is simply no state that McCain can reasonably expect pick up that went to Kerry. That’s why: game over.
*8:31pm: NM to Obama.
McConnell has survived in KY.
*8:25pm: GAME OVER: Ohio to Obama. Wow.
*8:18pm: The first Udall (NM) is called for the Democrat. Another change from R to D.
BTW, in my ‘review’ post, I mentioned that the Udalls are not related, but they ARE related. Cousins.
*8:09pm: As Rich reports, the Con-Con vote is down big (28%) with early reporting (4% of precincts in)
*8:06pm: In the KY Senate race, McConnel is leading his Democratic opponent 51%-49%, though it is still too close to call. Again, I think he’ll keep it, but it shouldn’t be this close.
*8:00pm: Another swamp of states for Obama: MI, WI, NY, RI. It’s getting racked up quick. 175 EVs for Obama already.
Also, Arizona and Coloroado are too close to call (though CO is leaning Obama). Not good for McCain. He has to take those.
*7:55pm: In IL, the earliest results in IL-10 (about 15% precincts in) show that Kirk is leading Seals.
*7:52pm: Here are some Mississippi exit poll numbers. Not bad for Obama actually. Wow.
*7:35pm: McCain takes Georgia finally. This was obvious, but we shall see how close it was later on.
*7:30pm: It looks like Hagan win will a Senate seat over Elizabeth Dole in NC. Count that another pick-up for the Democrats. Dole’s loss means that in January, there will not be a Dole or Bush in office since 1952.
*7:26pm: Chuck Todd mentions that Obama’s exit poll results in IN and VA looked good for Obama. I’m still thinking that Obama should take VA but not IN, we shall see. If he does win IN, than we are talkinga big route nationwide.
*7:15pm: OH and FL are both “too close to call,” but the blog consensus is that Obama is ahead in both. Look to those decisions, once they come in, to be the back-breakers. In not too long, actually.
*7:09pm: The NH Senate seat switches to the Democrats, as Jeanne Shaheen has won her re-match over the moderate Republican Sununu.
*7:06pm: ABC is reporting that former Hillary voters in PA went to Obama huge, that would be the key.
*7:02pm: Calling PA exactly as the polls close is HUGE. Folks, that is a big. Chuck Todd now says, and I agree, that if OH, FL, or VA falls to Obama in the next 30 minutes, game over.
*7:00pm: BIG RESULT: Obama takes Pennsylvania.
*6:46pm: McCain takes SC.
*6:41pm: The biggest surprise of these early results: The McConnell race is too close to call. That’s not what McCain needs to hear this early. Though, I still think McConnel will pull it out by a bit.
*6:32pm: When you watch TV, remember that “Too Close to Call” and “Too Early to Call” mean different things. Too early to call means that they are leaning towards one candidate, but the network is playing it cautious and will not declare until more raw data is in. Too close means that the numbes are literally close, without a leaner.
*6:26pm: FYI, no matter what Obama won’t be speaking in Grant Park until after CA polls close. So at the minumum prepare to be up until 11pm-12pm.
*6:24pm: Besides IN, OH, and FL, it looks likes VA and SC are both too close to call. Ambinder claims that VA is leaning Obama, while SC is leaning McCain. Those leaners are what was expected, so this isn’t too big a shock. Though not many at all thought that SC would even be close.
*6:16pm: The GA Senate race b/w incumbent R- Saxby Chambliss versus Jim Martin is also too close to call. No idea how reliable that is, but that seat, with the KY Senate seat, are ones the Rs were expected to pull out.
*6:07pm: The McConnell Senate seat in KY looks to be close so far. You’ll notice that was one of the three potential first things to look for. With 10% in, the D-Lundsford was ahead by a bit. Hmmm.
*6:06pm: Polls are closing. Kentucky has already for McCain. Vermont called for Obama. Nothing surprising.
*6:02pm: ABCNews exit poll is reporting that the African-American turnout looks be to 13% of the total vote. That would only be slightly higher than in 2004. Not at all as high some predicted.
*5:57pm: Taegard Goddard also says that, if they are true, than its Obama big all over. Though he doesn’t mention any specifics.
*5:38pm: BRB. Running across the street to grab a bottle of wine. We will need to toast the President-elect. Whoever it may be
*5:32pm: Did anyone catch Spike Lee walking around Hyde Park this afternoon. Says Lee: “Chicago is the epicenter of the world today.”
*5:29pm: A Fox News exit poll clip found HERE. Interestingly, it shows that ‘late deciders’ went for Obama by a few point margins in both Indiana and Ohio, but those late deciders went for McCain by 11% in Virginia. I cannot think of any reason why there would be a difference between these states in this regard. Perhaps it is accounted for by the flimsy-ness of exit polls.
*5:14pm: Drudge has posted some more general exit poll lines. He is saying that Ohio, Indiana, and Florida are all too close to call, and McCain seems to be holding Arizona.
*5:00pm: My cable is not working. Unbelievable. Oy. Luckily the internet has the best breaking news anyway. But it takes all the self-control I have to avoid destroying the cable box with my fists.
*4:46pm: Drudge is reporting that exit polls show Obama up by 15% in PA. Wow.
Again, take all of this with a grain of salt. It’s typically too high for the Dem. It is an indicator, perhaps.
*4:43pm: Some issue exit polls were released a bit ago. The one that stuck out to me: 57% feel Obama is in touch with people like them, 40% think McCain is in touch with people like them, 51% say the government should do more to solve problems.
Remember, these are taken from voters as they are leaving the polls. No idea how accurate these actually are.
*3:08pm: Marc Ambinder points out that the biggest wait-time right now seems to be just outside of St. Louis, MO….around 6.5 hours.
*2:53pm: The battle over Proposition 8 ultimately cost $73 million. It was about even on each side, with the ‘NO’ campaign raising about $500,000 $2 million more.
*2:26pm: Anyone interested in keeping tabs of the reports of voting problems should check out the OurVoteLive blog. It is the most comprehensive and user-friendly way to hear about potential problems across the country.
*2:10pm: Uh oh, no wonder we’ve not gotten much information thus far, from Marc Ambinder:
The quarantine this year is supposed to really be a quarantine — no blackberries, no cell phone, no nothing, until 5:00 pm ET. So anyone who claims to have exit poll data before then is either lying or has really, really good sources.
*1:24pm: Question: Do you think the ‘proof of address’ card is played much more on college campuses? JK just wrote in to say that her sister was turned away at the Illini Union for failure to have the required proof. On college campuses, GOP election judges are often instructed to enforce this more, knowing that smaller campus turnouts are better for them. What do you think?
*1:18pm: We are in the lull before the storm. Once we get some exit polls, the chatter will skyrocket. I suppose the best thing to do now (if you are in the Chicago area) is to enjoy the beauty of this November day.
*12:05pm: It is unbelievably warm and clear in Chicago today. Gorgeous. Is it a sign from the Almighty? Does he want things to go off without a hitch in Grant Park? Who’s to say.
*11:30am: Rich linked to this same article, warning of the dangers of reading too much into exit polls. The truth is that they typically overestimate the D support. So if in a few hours we get word of massive Obama numbers in some surprising spots, take caution.
*11:01am: Pollster’s overall trend of Prop 8 in CA:
*10:33am: A common theme everywhere on the blogosphere right now: big turnout. A typical post a la Politico’s Ben Smith: “As far as I can figure out from my morning email, turnout is unprecedented everywhere, from Democratic enclaves in Northern Virginia to Florida to Central Pennsylvania. Readers in both Republican and Democratic spots say the lines are longer than they were four years ago.”
*9:55am: I really think Drudge has lost a wheel this general election. Like this headline: “Ayers, Farrakhan Vote at Same Polling Location as Obama…”
Really? There are credible ways to promote the McCain candidacy. But this isn’t one of them.
*9:38am: From AG, a high school teacher at my alma mater: “It’s such an awesome sight to see my Seniors who had the ability to vote today with their stickers on. I’ll honestly say they are stoked, and I could not be prouder to see them and how excited they are. “
*9:34am: Another story from KG: “My boss just got in after voting in Mount Prospect. She said there are 3 precincts that vote in her polling place. 2 were empty and 1 (hers) had a line out the door. She waited in line for an hour. She is Indian and it is the first time she’s had the right to vote in a Presidential election, so she is beaming with excitement.”
*9:26am: Just so you know, the first real ‘results’ that we are likely to hear about are leaked exit polls. These are polls that are taken with people as they leave the voting booth. It’s what allows the news organizations to call the race well before any large number of precincts are officially recorded. These first polls could leak at anytime, though likely in the later afternoon…12pm, 1pm, 2pm.
These polls matter. But don’t buy them hook, line, and sinker. In 2004, they seemed to show that Kerry was over-performing; he ultimately did not.
*9:13am: Most of you probably caught this on the news, but in case you didn’t know, you can get a free tall coffee at any Starbucks today for voting. Just go up, order, and say that you voted. Though, the company got in a bit of trouble over it…
“No good deed goes unpunished,” said Nick Handy, director of elections. Handy said there is a federal statute that prohibits any reward for voting.
Starbucks’ good deed can be perceived as paying someone to vote, and that’s illegal, Handy said. ”The way it is written, it expressly prohibits giving any kind of gift,” Handy said.
Handy said the intent of the statute is aimed at special interest groups trying to influence who and how people vote. To fix the situation, Starbucks had agreed to give a tall cup of coffee to anyone who asks on Election Day.
*9:03am: Just in case you aren’t familiar, the best way to keep abreast of all of the Illinois specific stuff is at The Capitol Fax Blog. I’ll link to the big news from there, but if you want a taste of insider Illinois politics, there is obviously no place even close as good.
*8:43am: BG moved out to California about a year and half ago. I asked him about his perceptions of Prop 8 and he provided some interesting thoughts…
Not sure about Prop 8. I think it will fail, or at least I’d like to think it will. The supporters are doing a pretty “good” job of running disgusting smear campaigns. I’d like to think most people, for example, realize it has nothing to do with taking elementary school students to lesbian weddings, but when you run ads warning about that kind of stuff 24/7 you never know…
Personally, I’ve been surprised by some of my coworkers; my manager, a 30 something white male, hobbies include gambling, tattoos, drinking, and a veteran is against it. One of our first years, 23 yr old Asian female today said she didn’t want her future kids to be exposed to gay marriage so she was in support of it.
So I don’t know, the only expected ones are a Mormon friend who is for it (tho he mentioned he’s been doing calls for it and thankfully getting an overwhelming negative response), and then the tons of young liberals I know who are against it.
Obviously my perspective is pretty limited being stuck in the LA metro area so I really have no sense of the rural central California sentiment or even that of the numerous ethnic minority populations here. We’ll see, the idea that we even need to vote on something like this in 2008 is absolutely ridiculous and the ads being run back and forth here make me cringe.
*8:20am: A DuPage Co. precinct update from KG. This type of thing happens everwhere, often. Trust me, election judges earn their $90. I did it once, just to see what it is like, and never will again….
“ a co-worker voted in western springs…western suburb…got there at 6:05…left at 7:15…there were only 25 people in front of her!She said the workers were having a really hard time with the alphabetguy in front of her wasn’t listed in the book….even though he voted in the primary and has lived/voted in western springs for the past 20 years
*8:10am: Depending on who you read/watch you’ll hear likely one of three things about the “first things to pay attention to”:(1) Look to Indiana presidential tally; (2) Look to the McConnell Senate race in Kentucky, if its tight, then the Ds are in great shape; (3) The Virginia results, if Obama wins it, consider it lights out already.
We will hear about the results in those states (IN, KY, VA) very early. So store that in your minds for around 5-6pm this evening.
*7:48am: Question: What will be the total turnout? We all know it will be strong, but how many total voters? 2004 had around 122.3 million. I’ve heard analysts today say it’ll bump up to 130 million. My gut says it’ll be 135-140 million. I avoid discussing the % turnout, because the models forcasting that vary so wildly.
*7:38am: Question: Were you asked for ID or proof of address while voting? From my limited understanding, I believe that only newly registered voters who completed their registration either by mail, electronically, or at the DMV are required to show both. I fit into that category, as this was my first time voting in this precinct, and yet I wasn’t asked to show either. Same for KG below.
This oversight is standard practice, and always controversial. In general, it is typically overlooked by the Ds and complained about from the Rs.
*7:23am: The pretty face of another proud voter this morning.
*6:55am: Another question: What effect will the networks calling of the race early have on Prop 8 in CA? In general, I think higher turnout is better news for the No on 8 campaign. However, its tough to say exactly how the dynamic will play out. The gist…
That means it’s possible, if not altogether likely, that the presidential election could be called before polls close in the West. That happened once before, in 1980, when the election was famously called — and conceded — by 9 p.m. ET. But it’ll be the Internet, cable and the speed of news that will be the driving factor this time.
The networks all promise to take the time to project the race accurately, and say they won’t make any predictions before their time. But executives say it would be foolish for them to sit on a projection if they’re sure, and it wouldn’t be fair to viewers.
“There’s no way to get around it,” CBS News senior vp Paul Friedman said. “If one man gets 270 electoral votes before the West Coast polls are closed, we’re not going to pretend (he doesn’t).”
*6:43am: Also, did anyone else vote by ”connecting the broken arrow?” I had never seen this method before….using the marker to connect the line between the front of the arrow and back that points to your preferred candidate. What did you all do?
*6:40am: One thing I did learn from my polling trip: The Constitutional Convention vote is going down big. If you hadn’t heard, there was much legislative wrangling over the wording that ultimately made the ballot. The court ordered a revision, but it couldn’t be done in time, and so the alternative here in Cook Co. was to post a ‘dislcaimer’ on the inside of each polling box. However, I was basically finished before I even noticed it. I can’t imagine that many will see it, let alone read it. I was never a die-hard Yes to the Con-Con person, but the Yes supporterts certainly got the shaft on this one.
*6:30am: I am a voter. My polling place was directly across the street. I got there are 5:50am, and was about the 40th person in line waiting for the doors to open. By the time the doors did open, there was about 40 more people behind me, including an adorable 2 year old boy who could not stop talking about seeing the “‘ ‘lection judge” walk past him. I left the polling place about 30 minutes later. At that point, there were likely 100 more people in line. Overall, there were a many more folks round these parts than when I voted at the same time of the day for the ’04 general. Obviously though, that was in Champaign. How this compares to a regular turnout here in this Wrigleyville precinct, I have no idea.
*5:40am: Another open question: Can Obama actually receive at least 50% of the popular vote? Jimmy Carter is the last Democrat to do it (1976).
5:27am: In comments Kasey reminds us of two things: (1) The NH hamlet of Dixville Nox is the first to report this morning. We can safely predict that Obama will take the town. With 100% of precincts in, he has pulled out a 15-6 win. (2) If you want to read up on how the ID requirements at the ballot box may affect the outcome of the race, read HERE.