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Tuesday, November 04, 2008


election day

0645 -- cast just my second vote for a democratic candidate for president. faced with a relatively high quality of candidate selection in the illinois 10th district for congress, i went with throwing the bums out and voted for dan seals. mark kirk has been about as good as a republican congressman can be -- but he is still beholden to a republican caucus which will be unfortunately stripped of many of its more moderate members upon returning to washington. the GOP will be best served by an extended period of reflection in the political wilderness, and the more clearly and undeniably the party is rejected from the american political mainstream the better. it may take that and more to crack the thicker skulls of GOP leadership.

1230 -- reading this on fivethirtyeight regarding georgia is enough to make one fear for saxby chambliss. early voting may nullify one of the more effective institutional measures taken against city precinct voting in atlanta -- a refusal to invest in voting infrastructure. there will be lines of course. but the obama campaign has clearly taken full advantage of early voting to overcome the obstacles carefully placed before urban voters. chambliss is called about 88% certain to retain his seat by nate silver's methodology, andgeorgia 90% likely to contribute its electoral votes for mccain -- but the novelty of early voting may serve to upset historically-based methodologies.

1236 -- also -- do not monitor exit polling. the experience of 2004 is given some theoretical backbone by fivethirtyeight.

1253 -- one of the more reliable indicators of who's losing is monitoring who is bitching loudest about voter fraud. in 2004 it was the democrats, most of whom were apoplectic about ohio. in 2000 it was both sides, as befits a hung jury.

this year? if ACORNmania wasn't enough for you, try john fund of the wall street journal on for size.

1306 -- not sure why, but checking in with the crackpots is always interesting on election day. the national review will tell you in no uncertain terms that an obama victory will make you poor, raise your light bill, bring the death of unions -- and you know even hated europe wouldn't elect him because he's a closet marxist, though i suspect anyone who questions the increasingly painful difficulties of shifting tax burdens from capital to labor in a consumer economy is indistinguishable from a marxist from where the NRO sits. anyway, who wants a united states of france?

1319 -- breaking news from fox. i hope no one actually wrote that line for him.

1322 -- much as i feel turning out the republicans is the only responsible vote following what has become of the GOP in these last years, i can find no way to consider al franken's possible elevation from the comedic circuit to the united states senate to be a good thing. the race has been belligerent and characterized by opportunist lawsuit filings against coleman on pretenses of corruption. there's an element of political revenge afoot, as coleman took the seat as the handpicked candidate of karl rove in 2002 following the untimely death of democrat paul wellstone. none of that is, unfortunately, out of the ordinary in american politics. and perhaps i shouldn't shake my head at the implication of unseriousness that inevitably follows a man who once shared the limelight with eddie murphy and joe piscopo. but if this country has to elect a satirist, couldn't it be a better one?

1413 -- andrew sullivan:

If I were to give one reason why I believe electing Barack Obama is essential tomorrow, it would be an end to this dark, lawless period in American constitutional government.

that has it exactly right in my view. though i'm not at all certain -- nor even do i think it likely -- that voting for obama can stem the tide in defense of a constitutional republic of separated powers, to vote for most any national-level representative of the GOP at this point is simply not to try.

1428 -- from the financial times -- the decline of the drudge report. john gapper deals here directly with the death of the gatekeeper, something i argued with matt welch about ages ago and revisited more recently. i think we will come to rue the decline in institutional media as self-selected media consumption and indeed self-created media fuels the insularity of americans, promoting their radicalization in individualized echo chambers of their own choice. drudge once led the attack against institutional media; now, he's but one in an army of millions.

1459 -- final prediction map from fivethirtyeight:

i hate to harp on nate silver's content, but back in earlier blogging days i came home with considerable respect for his analytical work at baseball prospectus. if there's a one true way to analyze political polling to make it maximally predictive, it is very probably being done at fivethirtyeight.

1524 -- following on the voter fraud meme -- and taking it to a new level -- this is sure to go a million miles in the mind of the average fox news viewer.

fair and balanced -- and not at all playing on the fears of racists with no experience of urban areas. here's the counterpoint via talking points memo.

1551 -- mark blumenthal on why there won't be any exit polls for another nine minutes:

Following the 2004 election, when partial and misleading results leaked out at mid day, the network consortium that conducts the exit polls decided to restrict access to a small number of analysts in a "quarantine room" for most of the day.

but you can bet they'll run out of that room blurting percentages uncontrollably.

1601 -- a lack of gamesmanship in indiana -- there had been reports earlier in the season that the GOP might resort to challenging voter registration using foreclosure listings in some of the great lakes swing states like indiana, ohio and pennsylvania. according to the star:

Neither party had heard reports today of any actual challenges based on foreclosures or evictions.

1604 -- the best thing about the end of election season will be the end of this tool's fifteen minutes.

i look forward to getting back to interviews with real celebrities like paris hilton.

2049 -- what a difference four years makes. rather than quaffing the evening away, i give baths and read to the girls -- and rather than wondering into the wee hours who might win, it's already over. pennsylvania and ohio were decisive enough to be called early, and now it's merely a matter of how big the rout. on that count, indiana -- which is almost local for me, and i can testify prides itself on its "southernness" -- is too close to call with 75% of precincts reporting at this hour. amazing.

2055 -- 60% reporting in florida -- obama up 51-48. virginia too is trending obama, with mccain up by less than a percent with 75% reporting and the democratic northern virginia counties still being counted.

2059 -- saxby chambliss looks to be holding on, and that's just as well -- but he has to clear a majority.

2112 -- democratic senate pickups so far -- qarner (VA), shaheen (NH), hagan (NC), udall (NM) -- they probably won't get 60.

2124 -- kirk is beating seals 54-46 with about half the returns in.

2130 -- sullivan:

White evangelicals voted for McCain in larger margins in South Carolina than they did for Bush, according to CNN. That's staggering to me: what this election may be doing is intensifying the religious and racial identity of the GOP. This is Rove's legacy. It is the destruction of the Republican party as a national force.

there will be plenty of time to deconstruct the pathology of the GOP. but these last few years -- with the coup de grace of the mccain campaign and the pathetic elevation of sarah palin -- really has revealed it as the deeply radical political body it is. they may as well change the nameplate to the 'southern baptist convention and associated pentecostals party'. its mainstream appeal is gone, at least for now -- and i suspect the onrushing economic depression is likely to reinforce that reality as the next few years unfold and turn republican economics into an epithet.

2139 -- obama now apparently pulling away in virginia with 90% reporting -- a dead heat in indiana with heavily democratic lake county still out and 88% reporting -- north carolina a dead heat with 80% reporting. i'm a bit amazed at the old fashioned thumping obama laid on mccain in the great lakes/upper mississippi valley states. forecast had been for 55% of the vote, but it's another thing to see it happen.

2152 -- virginia called for obama. if you weren't partying for obama, start now.

2155 -- redrawing the red/blue lines is important, in my view, for reinforcing the idea of national integrtity after some very divisive years. virginia and north carolina and indiana and colorado and new mexico are heartening. but omaha would be a real shock, serving notice that we are not so obviously and easily delineated as it might have seemed these last few years. and obama is up by five points early on.

2200 -- nbc calls the race for obama, with the west coast states pushing it beyond doubt.

an african american is president-elect of the united states.

think about that for a moment. think about this. think about this. think about this. think about the distance this country has covered in forty years.

i fear for our future in this society. but i have no doubt that things can be made to change for the better. credit the african american community for surviving and holding on as americans. credit the renewing courage of the young to shed the malice of their elders while still learning what they must. credit american institutions, however damaged, for continuing to prove their ability to adapt for the betterment of our society.

all is not forgotten; all is not forgiven. but obama's success tonight validates and vindicates the sacrifice and perseverance of millions.

2221 -- mccain with a classy and conciliatory concession; he sounds normal -- self assured, confident, maybe even relieved -- for the first time in months.

2304 -- a picture of internal conflict: jesse jackson. the man who wanted to cut barack's nuts off is now watching that same man become the first african american president of this country, fulfilling the most distant promise of the civil rights movement that he suffered to propagate four decades ago.

2317 -- i don't know what the obama administration will bring, but -- in the aftermath of that thundering speech of acceptance -- i have to say it surely is good to have someone again, finally, take the reins that clearly belongs in the job. how this society has missed leadership one can take pride in.

2351 -- i'll take the other side of that bet, jonah goldberg. i think the utter foolishness of palin's political existence outside of wasilla will become ever more blinding with time -- though i imagine goldberg and many others at NRO will be conspicuously silent on her merciful political passing. -- UPDATE: via american conservative -- her hubristic stupidity is already passing into the realm of legend.


gm - i said during the democratic campaign for the '08 election: america has too much foundation of sexism for a female president, and too much foundation of racism for a black president.

for a gentleman's bet - say a fine glass of wine - i'm holding that line - mccain/failin upset!

oh, and i'm also holding my breath.

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there's enough different about this election to make me question the applicability of historical modeling, dc -- but i surely hope you're wrong. given the expectation that's been so completely built in, and given the accusations of election "thievery" that have characterized the last two presidential elections, such a result could have awful ramifications.

indiana and kentucky close at 5pm chicago time. nate silver is projecting a 50.0-48.4 in favor of mccain. maybe that will be an early tell.

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from perrone: and _fuck_ joe the plumber. he's probably the kind of guy, you call him to fix your bathroom and you wind up with shit floating all over the kitchen.

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glad i was wrong, gm. and i agree - good or bad down the road, this election and its process and flow to a noncrazy conclusion, does have a feeling of pride. one that has been missing for a while.

and now, as the zen master says - "we'll see", eh?

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hey perrone - a plumber charges a surgeon $500 an hour. the surgeon complains, because - even as a surgeon - he doesn't make $500 an hour. the plumber then says "i know what you mean - i didn't make $500 an hour when i was a surgeon either."

and the old standard: plumbers only need to know 2 things: 1. when's payday, and 2. which way is downhill.

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