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Tuesday, November 02, 2004


election day

4:45am -- alarm... should run.... election.... idontwannajhjkasldzzzzzz....

6:02am -- snooze for the 14th time... but roll over and flick on the tv. slightly showery, high of 51.

6:09am -- turn to cnbc for the futures -- up slightly -- they're showing lines at some polling place in miami...

7:48am -- coffee in hand, open the office. start reading.

9:02am -- certainly little has changed overnight. still seems like a kerry walk, if the rule of undecideds-breaking-for-the-challenger holds.

9:15am -- glenn reynolds at instapundit links a ny post oped that is, i think, supposed to tell us to back dubya because kerry is carter. nice try, mr reynolds, but i doubt it.

it's been a consistent failing, imo, of the simplistic end of conservative punditry (to which mr reynolds belongs) that they refuse to concede to the reality that the democratic party of 2004 might be different than the crowd at woodstock in 1969. kerry's stumping all along has been militaristic in a way that makes me cringe -- warrior-populists in a fearful nation are dictators in waiting, and unfortunately bush and kerry are very similar in this respect.

kerry, fwiw, is probably going to spill a lot of blood for american empire -- even as it makes our problems all the more intractable. will that make people like mr reynolds happy?

9:47am -- james wolcott, for one, overcomes the myopia of election day to see the narcissistic farce that has become american political dialogue:

The truth is, as Scott Ritter writes in an important article linked to by, the war in Iraq has made moral cowards of us all. To focus on whether or not the Bin Laden tape would give Bush a boost while thousands upon thousands of Iraqis die and Fallujah is about to pulverized without the slightest debate in this country is an indictment of our media, our political class, and the phony Christianity that so many of our dumpling patriots profess.
very sad and very true. what ever became of thought, philosophy and ethics here?

10:02am -- kirsty milne for the scotsman disposes of the wishful fantasy that neoconservatism will somehow disappear in a second bush term.

11:09am -- the theme of the morning is record turnout -- one blurb i read estimated at 73% turnout in ohio, unheard of these days. it can't be good for the republicans generally, who (as a rule of thumb) do best in low-turnout elections.

11:48am -- the atlantic this month published a dissection of karl rove, bush's master strategist that i, for some odd reason, found reassuring. particularly, the article's correct emphasis on controlling the terms of the debate and rove's past success in doing so gave me reason for serenity.

bush hasn't had control of the debate all along, with the exception of momentary episodes like the swift boat vets -- iraq consistently reared up to place itself in the fore. as much as bush has tried to make iraq his issue, one can see by the way the kerry campaign eagerly sunk teeth into it that it was potentially a bush weakness. and, indeed, kerry has made great strides on security issues and bush's approval has steadily eroded.

what is not encouraging, however, is the recount scenario that rove played out in 1994 and again in 2000 in florida. i think many underestimate the scads of lawyers who wait eagerly for this evening, ready to begin filing briefs and challenging results in every obscure precinct. this transcends mere legality -- there is an issue of acceptance.

no election is perfect. all have significant errors. it is the reality of both being human and the statistics of large numbers. but, for an election to pragmatically function, there has to be an understanding between all parties that the results will be accepted without scrutiny that is too close. for close examination will always reveal foul and fraud on some small level -- and these small episodes can, through the megaphone of media which is geared to emphasize them, destroy an election's validity and throw the entire electoral process into doubt. once such floodgates are opened, waves of lawyers will come pouring through to effectively render the election null and place the presidency, again, within the purview of courts that were never designed to decide such matters.

12:41pm -- michael totten at instapundit is hereby nominated in the catagory of 'best election perspective':

If, by some chance, everyone you know votes for the loser it won't mean the election was stolen. It will only show that you live in a bubble.
12:48pm -- via the volokh conspiracy, a reference to one of the most insightful pieces of election commentary i've ever read -- fron today's 'wall street journal' -- touching on cultural trends i often refer to here (most recently at 11:48am...).

Legal education shapes lawyers' thinking, and lawyers help to shape American culture -- particularly the political culture. Unfortunately, this education breeds and dignifies some dangerous inclinations. It encourages people to favor constructed idealizations over real life. And it confuses the skills of argumentation with morality. The legions of lawyers encamped across the country to litigate their way to political victory are the embodiment of a more insidious process -- the penetration of our society by a relentlessly adversarial mindset, one that is entirely ready to make our democracy unworkable.
1:07pm -- the first exit polling data i've seen -- about 15 minutes old at this point -- looks much as i'd expected. some key states:
PA: kerry 60, bush 40
OH: kerry 52, bush 48
FL: kerry 51, bush 48
NH: kerry 57, bush 41
MI: kerry 51, bush 48
WI: kerry 52, bush 48
MN: kerry 58, bush 40
IA: kerry 49, bush 49
CO: kerry 48, bush 51
too early to say, but good for kerry.

1:58pm -- the exit poll leaks have hit like lightning over at NRO online, the web home of neocon footsoldiers, where one can taste a bit of panic, depression and resignation setting in with the numbers -- and the magnitude of turnout. as an old man in baltimore is supposed to have said today, "christ, if it's gonna be like this, kerry's gonna walk away with it. people don't wait two hours to say 'nice job.' they wait two hours to vote the summbitch out."

2:10pm -- much of the world watches and waits -- from arabia to britain to germany to china to france -- for the white smoke. it's powerful testament, imo, to the importance, whether welcomed or reviled, of american empire.

3:02pm -- the stock market took to a mild decline as soon as the exit polling data hit a couple hours back -- but yet more entertaining to me is the iowa electronic market winner-take-all futures market, which closed today with the sum of kerry contracts at 51 cents, up another 2.5 cents today. the graph tells the story.

this should be a humbling experience, imo, for those who believe that markets rationally assess and discount the future -- or, worse still, predict the future. what has really changed since october 17, when the kerry contract aggregate stoody at 38.2 cents? answer: the level of hubris.

3:11pm -- i'm off to vote. back later with how it went....

6:32pm -- back having done my duty. no line in my precinct, but very pleasant people. very democratic people.

more exit polling, two hours old now:
OH bush 49 - kerry 50
FL bush 49 - kerry 50
VA bush 52 - kerry 47
NJ bush 45 - kerry 53
WI bush 48 - kerry 51
IA bush 45 - kerry 53
MN bush 44 - kerry 54
NM bush 48 - kerry 50
MI bush 47 - kerry 51
new jersey?!? wow!

6:40pm -- joe scarborough just admitted on msnbc that bush isn't going to win in the upper midwest. hard to believe -- or it's just so obvious that it's beyond doubt. in any case, if he's right, bush MUST win ohio.

the first calls: bush takes IN, KY, WV, GA -- kerry takes VT -- all as expected -- bush 39, kerry 3

6:48pm -- msnbc is reporting that republican lawyers are bitching about being given incomplete absentee lists, so that they cannot effectively challenge potential double voters.

get, ready, people. this is potentially the beginning of a republican effort to game the election and litigate their way to a couple state victories that might turn the college vote bush's way. i mentioned the prospect earlier today -- and i hope i'm utterly, utterly wrong. but nagle in WSJ talked about the encroachment of the litigation culture into elections, and the 'atlantic' piece on rove indicates his history of litigating close defeats.

6:55pm -- the tribune calls chicago's turnout "unheard of".

i saw a standard question asked by pollsters every four years (allow me to paraphrase) relating to how important you believed this election to be. the results for 'very important'? 1996: 61% 2000: 67% 2004: 81%.

7:00pm -- more poll closings -- bush takes OK, TN, AL -- kerry takes NJ, ME, MA, CT, DE, MD, DC and my home IL

VA is still tctc -- which is a solidly republican state -- along with OH, FL, PA and SC, NH, MS, MO

kerry pulls ahead 77-66.

7:22pm -- move NC into the bush column -- and yahoo's site has FL, SC and VA "leaning" bush...

bush now, 81-77.

7:25pm -- democratic lawyers are first to file suit in ohio, over long lines as a result of too few voting machines... why do i get the feeling that this is only the beginning?

7:30pm -- AR closes tctc and bush takes SC, as expected. no major surprises so far, although bush might have won NJ. the midwest is looking more important than ever, as chris matthews pointed out.

7:33pm -- atrios notes that the internet is shutting down as servers crash under massive election-related web traffic. come on blogspot!!!

he also has linked (earlier today) to media matters, who have a grid of who calls what when. if you remember 2000, this could be admissable evidence later.

7:37pm -- some are calling VA for bush, as expected, but closer than.

bush 102, kerry 77

27% of precincts reporting in FL: bush 54%, kerry 45% -- remember, the democratic city wards come in last -- it looks close...

7:43pm -- NH hasn't been called by anyone yet, but yahoo has it leaning kerry.

1% reporting in FL: bush 56%, kerry 43%

state the obvious: barack obama, the anointed one, annihilated unintentional clown alan keyes for the illinois senate seat -- and one must ask, why would hungry republicans shit on an empty plate by nominating keyes?

7:49pm -- a federal judge, to alleviate terrifying lines in ohio, forced ohio election commissioners to hand out paper ballots to everyone in line to allow them to vote now. sympathetic? yes. a clusterf*ck? you bet. more lawsuits to follow....

7:52pm -- msnbc is reporting swarms of lawyers descending upon ohio polling places, where lines are hours long even now. scattered reports of extended poll openings in PA. "dispiriting", says chris matthews. it must be bad news for the democrats as well, as the urban areas are where the problems are.

scarborough just invoked 1960 and the chicago fix. i wish it were. i wish one of these candidates would look, as nixon did, at evident fraud and say, "it's not worth the damage it would do to the country." neither of these men have that kind of ethic, i'm afraid -- and if you don't measure up to nixon, what does that say?

8:00pm -- bush TX, KS, NE, SD, ND, WY -- kerry NY, RI -- tc/tetc CO, NM, MI, MN, WI, AZ, LA, FL (with 40% in), OH (4%), MO, PA (3%), AR, NH, MS

bush 156, kerry 112

8:00pm -- one of the kerry daughters is on with matthews -- and he's asking her serious questions! wtf?!? "vanessa, what do you think about your father's policies?"

who cares?

but, it must be said: would anyone even bother asking jenna bush anything except where she's spending the night?

8:11pm -- the leaners now number FL, OH, and LA for bush, PA for kerry. fwiw, if kerry doesn't take two of the Big Three (FL, OH, FL), things gets a lot tougher for him.

8:21pm -- 52% reporting in FL: bush 53%, kerry 46%

OH 7% in: bush 53%, kerry 47%

PA 4% in: bush 32%, kerry 68%

MO, a republican state worth 11 electoral votes, is leaning kerry -- and that is a surprise.

LA and MS called for bush...

bush 171, kerry 112

8:36pm -- florida results up to the minute -- 47.7% in: bush 51.8%, kerry 47.2%

pennsylvania results -- 16% in: bush 30%, kerry 69%

ohio results -- 14.28% in: bush 52.35%, kerry 47.16%

yahoo now has MO leaning back to bush -- man, it's closer than i thought -- given what's come in, it looks increasingly important for kerry to take either florida or ohio as well as pennsylvania -- and then do well in the upper midwest.

8:52pm -- FL precincts coming in fast now, 65.8% in: bush 51.8%, kerry 47.6% -- with the democratic downstaters (palm beach, miami-dade) making up the majority of what hasn't come in. democratic broward county, however, is mostly in already.

9:00pm -- bush UT -- tc/tetc IA NV MT FL OH MO CO NM PA MI MN WI AZ AR NH

bush 176, kerry 112

nothing yet has really fallen out of line; any poaching by either party will take some time to determine, as the races are just so damn close.

ABC is calling arkansas for bush, CBS calling MT for bush.

with those, its bush 185, kerry 112.

republican senator arlen specter is losing unexpectedly -- kerry is showing coattails there, i guess.

9:10pm -- amendment 36 in CO is decisively defeated, which makes sense.

FL 72.8% in: bush 51.2%, kerry 47.9% -- a 175,000 vote margin.

msnbc is talking more and more about the election count running into tomorrow....

9:14pm -- MO called for bush -- again, as expected.

bush 193, kerry 112

9:17pm -- josh marshall is pissed off about republican lawyering in ohio -- "wall to wall ugly", his words. it depresses me that lawyers play a significant role in all this, but it certainly isn't just republican lawyers.

what is sure is that ohio provisional ballots are the game to play if you're a lawyer in election 2004.

it has never occured to me that the united states may not be able any longer to stage an effective election, given the litigious blame culture and the 50-50 nation that i've blogged about before. what role can that play in the onset of chaos and disruption that is associated with the death throes of a democracy? a large one -- but perhaps it's too early to make that leap.

9:27pm -- florida is, contrary to all prior polling, looking more and more like bush -- with broward counted, the republican panhandle not yet counted, and kerry behind by a couple hundred thousand... a loss in florida would make ohio all-important for kerry.

9:42pm -- florida -- 79.2% in: bush 51.6%, kerry 47.6% -- it's looking red.

OH and PA are confidently blue, says the kerry campaign as pbs interviews... we shall see. ohio looks suspect.

9:52pm -- PA is being called for kerry -- that's one of The Big Three. kerry really needs another.

AZ gets called for dubya -- a small disappointment, but still as expected.

bush 203, kerry 133.

10:00pm -- bush ID -- kerry CA, WA -- tctc OR, HI, FL, OH, CO, IA, NV, NM -- tetc MI, MN, WI, NH, MT

bush 207, kerry 199.

so far, no one has poached a state from 2000. it is the same election so far.

10:09pm -- what more is there to say? now we wait. at least jon stewart is on. i'm also at the bottom of a bottle of cotes de castillon, unfortunately.

i'm not sure which is the more disturbing commercial, considering -- GTA soundtracked by gnr's "welcome to the jungle" or e*trade with jefferson airplane's "start the revolution". everything takes on a weird dimension on election night.

10:22pm -- florida is 94% in, and 52-47 bush.

CO and NM, in the event of an OH loss, become kerry's only hope -- and they aren't beyond hope. NM is 47% in, and 52-47 bush; CO 37% in, 53-46 bush.

10:28pm -- and as soon as you say it -- CBS is calling CO for dubya. where's rather when we need him, dammit? fraudulent documents? that's a cop out! show up on game day, son!

10:39pm -- ohio latest: 63% in, 52-48 bush...

10:49pm -- jaysus f*ck, people, you heard it here first because no network has the stones: FL for bush.

bush 237 kerry 199

11:09 -- FINAL INSTALLMENT: ohio is still in doubt -- though it certainly looks like bush right now, it may very well end up the florida of the 2004 election, decided by lawsuits and absentees. it's about a must-win for kerry; without it, he has to draw NV, NM and HI as well as WI, MN, IA and MI.

for that matter, florida has a massive number of absentees (a million or more) to be counted, which could even swing is over a sizable bush advantage -- but that is unlikely.

the reality is that kerry will probably lose -- and that i miscalled the election, in any case, by thinking likely, based on prior example, that the incumbent had little chance of doing better than his final polling, and that undecideds would be decisive for kerry. rove and bush obviously got out their vote, and it has made a crucial -- probably deciding -- difference.

i sincerely hope -- even if it means a bush win -- that litigation stays out of this election, that the results are not microscopically dissected, that the loser accepts the loss for the good of the republic.

Does the weather help Bush?

It is raining throughout the East. Especially in OHIO. From Cleveland to Cincy it looks like rain for most of the day. I just spoke with a friend of mine in Columbus, OH who said the voting lines were long this morning around 7:00. By 7:45 they had dwindled.

I voted at my local ward in Chicago around 7:50 this morning. No problems, no lines, no nothing. Didn't look like much of a turnout by me.

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These turnout numbers are INCREDIBLE. 75%+ in Chicago.

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This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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According to the Sun Times Bob Novak, former Phillies pitcher Jim Bunning is going to lose his Senate seat

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mongiardo, the kid battling him, is an internet creation -- completely funded by republican blogsters at first, when he started doing well the national got behind him. now he's knocking off bunning. amazing.

feingold and mccain are both projected to win -- i guess campaign finance reform wasn't lethal, anyway...

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Hey Jenna where are you gonna party tonight?

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Looks like Bush: Meet the New Boss Same as the Old Boss.

The Democrats got no help from Edwards in the South. It looks like Kerry is going to lose the same way Gore did.

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yeah, it could happen. things are looking up for kerry in florida and PA, but without ohio he still needs to carry the upper midwest -- MN, WI, MI, and IA would be cushion.

if he loses FL as well as ohio, he needs IA and more help in NM and NV or CO.

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Ohio and Florida results could come on Thursday after the absentee ballots are counted. Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa will be key for the victor.

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the AP has called bunning the winner!

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Congrats to the old Fighting Phillie!

Can you see Kevin Millwood running for public office?

These TV stations are being too conservative this year making calls. It looks to me like Bush is gonna win this thing. Florida is his(92% in) Ohio will go his way and that'll be it.

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yeah, with a florida loss, ohio looks increasingly like a must-win.

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jmb here.......mak, what happened here? could this be the upset you feared? if so.. remeber Totten:

If, by some chance, everyone you know votes for the loser it won't mean the election was stolen. It will only show that you live in a bubble

what will be your response to this. Will Marius admit to beign out of touch?

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yep -- i was absolutly wrong on the underlying principle of my analysis: that the incumbent would likely not do material better than his polling total. rove obviously got the church vote out big, and the dems -- who assumed massive turnout was all democratic -- have to be stunned.

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but i don't know anyone -- save barronall -- who's "out of touch" on that board.

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WI is still close. Ohio looks like W, I think W has it in the bag. I am intersted in the Colorado vote for other reasons....

Mak read this

Agree? Do you expect outrage?

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Fox News Channel is not giving Kerry California on their Electoral College Number. They are a class channel!

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devastating. just unbelievably devastating. what reality is this that we're living in? the empire continues...

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The current state of the Democratic Party in this country is awful. The Dems had an unpopular war, a high unemployment rate, and an incumbant President with approval ratings below 50%. That should = victory.

This is very similar to the Republicans in '64 -- Goldwater vs. Johnson.

The Democrats are out of touch with Americans who attend church and live in the south. Liberal, Catholics, Senators from Massachusetts don't win in southern states. Sorry Dems but Kerry was the WRONG candidate.

I hope there is no litigation. Bush won this election fair. Litigation will just create more bitterness in the U.S.

Karl Rove is a genius. He ran a great race for Bush.

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But there would also be some real screamers, and they'd scream at the top of their lungs for four years.from that tcs article, i think this is absolutely going to be true. it isn't for me -- but i think that many will be angry.

many more, however, i think will simply disengage from the process. a second bush victory will be juxtaposed with a second nixon victory, many will conclude that democracy is idiocy, and adopt a yet more nihilistic view.

i was reading this morning bertrand russell's account of heraclitus, who he quoted: "every beast is driven to the pasture with blows."

that rather sums me up at the moment.

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The Democrats are out of touch with Americans who attend church and live in the south.yep, ccd, i think the democrats have become too cosmopolitan for the moment. their focus on the cities since the 19th c has entrenched them there -- but that has affected them as well and changed their makeup. that began to show in the civil rights movement with dixiecrat breakaways and so forth, and they've never tried to remedy the problem. zell miller should show them that.

they've lost contact with the cultural conservative. they really need some fucking bubba-gump appeal, as neanderthal and appalling as that is. unfortunately the rules of the game are that every uncle-fucking hillbilly gets the same say as every scholar. it's a mortal flaw of democracy, and it is haunting the democrats big time.

Karl Rove is a genius. He ran a great race for Bush.he's also a beneficiary of democratic problems.

disciplined, yes, but genius? one has to consider that he runs the same race every time -- he has a formula, and runs it, and has been since he started. that isn't genius.

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